NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A beloved FDNY hero has lost his battle with cancer.

Ray Pfeifer was one of the thousands of firefighters who worked for months on the toxic pile at ground zero following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Six years later, he was diagnosed with renal cancer.

While battling cancer, Pfeifer championed the Zadroga Bill, which secured health care for 100,000 people.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, “The entire FDNY family deeply mourns his loss.”

Pfeifer was 59 years old.

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