GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Getzville Fire Company Chief and President Irving Isenberg has died, the department announced on Friday night.
The fire company is calling this a “line of duty death” and traces his fatal illness to his volunteer service at Ground Zero just days after the 9/11 attacks.
Isenberg died in Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center after waging a lengthy battle with bone marrow cancer and, most recently, an aggressive form of leukemia. These are cancers that his family and his fire company believe developed because he worked in the hazardous conditions surrounding the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Isenberg joined a contingent of ambulances from Western New York that traveled to Manhattan for duty. His job was “rescuing the rescuers” who were digging through the pile at Ground Zero. He said he could actually feel debris in the air as he breathed it into his lungs.
Now, Irv Isenberg becomes a casualty of the 9/11 terrorist attacks 18 years after the horror unfolded. He is believed to be the first Erie County death among fire volunteers attributed to their service at Ground Zero.
Isenberg devoted 35 years of service to helping others as a first responder. He was a member of the Getzville Fire Company for 29 years and served in many positions over the years including Fire Chief and President.
He leaves behind his wife, Lisa, as well as his mother, two sisters, two stepchildren, and a granddaughter.
The Getzville Fire Company is asking the community to turn on porch lights during November and use a red bulb to honor Irving Isenberg and all firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Viewing hours for Irv Isenberg are from 4 – 8 p.m. on Sunday at Getzville Fire Company, with the funeral at 10 a.m. Monday at Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.