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“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

-Chief Edward F. Croker FDNY circa 1910

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FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio dies of 9/11-related cancer

BC Miuccio Chief Miuccio at the WTC site.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio, a Ground Zero hero famed for walking through burning buildings with a cigar in his mouth instead of an air mask, died Thursday of 9/11-related cancer, his family said. He was 76.

"My dad never stopped thinking about the guys in the department," his son, retired firefighter Robert Miuccio Jr., told the Daily News. "When we were at the hospital, he was talking in his sleep. 'Come on boys! We gotta put the fire out.'"

Miuccio, who served with the department for 39 years, died after a two-year battle with lung cancer, officials and family said.

When planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Staten Island firefighter — whose brother Richard, 55, worked on the 86th floor of 2 World Trade Center — grabbed his gear and boarded a ferry headed downtown.

Miuccio's brother perished in the terror attack. He set aside his grief for the next 3½ months as he led firefighters' efforts to recover the remains of the dead.

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