Firefighter who evacuated hundreds on 9/11 dies of cancer

A New York City firefighter who helped evacuate hundreds of people during the Sept. 11 terror attack has died of cancer.

Thomas Phelan was 45.  Family and friends told the New York Daily News that Phelan died from cancer linked to the toxic fumes at ground zero. The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York says more than 170 firefighters have died as the result of illnesses related to the World Trade Center attacks.

Phelan was a captain of a Statue of Liberty ferry during the 2001 attack. He helped in the evacuation of Lower Manhattan and ferried rescue workers and supplies to the scene.

He joined the fire department in 2003 and was assigned to Marine 9 in Staten Island.

A wake was being held Monday at the Daniel J. Schaefer Funeral Home in Brooklyn.  The funeral was to take place Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Michael's Church in Brooklyn.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.