Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Dies from Coronavirus

April 2, 2020
Albert (Al) Petrocelli, 73, was diagnosed with the virus March 24. His youngest son had been working as a commodities broker at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.

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A retired FDNY battalion chief whose son was killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center died from the coronavirus Wednesday.

Albert (Al) Petrocelli, 73, was diagnosed with the virus March 24 after feeling fatigued, the Staten Island Advance reports. By Sunday, he started having breathing issues and was taken to the hospital.

“Grief is the price we pay for love," Ginger Petrocelli, his wife, told the Advance. "And today I grieve because I loved so deeply.”

After briefly serving in Vietnam, Petrocelli joined the FDNY in May 1973 after twice turning down the department. He eventually graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and was promoted to battalion chief.

His youngest son, Mark, was working as a commodities broker on the 92nd floor of World Trade Center 1 during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His oldest son, Al Jr., also had become a firefighter and rose to battalion chief.

Petrocelli is the second retired firefighter to die of the coronavirus. Anthony Iraci, 48, died of complications from the virus Friday. James Villecco, a 55-year-old auto mechanic with the FDNY Bureau of Fleet Services, became the first member of the department to die from the illness.

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