NY officer who helped at ground zero dies 14 years later

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Funeral Held for NYPD Officer Who Died from 9/11-Related Illness

NEW YORK (AP) -- Family members, fellow officers and friends said farewell to a New York City police lieutenant who died of cancer 14 years after she worked at ground zero following the September 11 attacks.

Funeral services were held Sunday for Lt. Marci Simms, 51, of Long Island. She died of lung cancer at her home on Thursday.

Relatives said Simms was one of the thousands of first responders who worked at ground zero. They said she spent more than four months doing rescue, recovery and cleanup work among the smoldering rubble, and later became ill.

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NYPD officer Marci Simms funeral service
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NY officer who helped at ground zero dies 14 years later
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In a project produced by Stony Brook University School of Journalism last year, Simms talked about the conditions at ground zero, CBS New York reported. "It was smoky," she said of the air. "You felt like it was just burning your throat."

As Simms became increasing sick, she was cared for by her husband, Keith. Her medical costs were covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

Simms joined the New York Police Department in 1998 after graduating from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She worked in Manhattan and Brooklyn before joining the 107th Precinct in Queens in 2013.

See how New Yorkers commemorated those lost on 9/11:

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New York honors those lost on 9/11/01
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NY officer who helped at ground zero dies 14 years later
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Army Sgt. Edwin Morales prays during a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. With a moment of silence and somber reading of names, victims' relatives began marking the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 in a subdued gathering Friday at ground zero.(AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
Retired New York City firefighter Joseph McCormick visits the South Pool prior to a ceremony at the World Trade Center site in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. With a moment of silence and somber reading of names, victims' relatives began marking the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 in a subdued gathering Friday at ground zero. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A New York City firefighter participates in a memorial service for firefighters killed on September 11, 2001 at the New York City Fire Museum on September 11, 2015 in New York City. Three hundred and forty three firefighters, some viewed on the pictured memorial wall, were killed on September 11. Throughout the nation today people are holding somber gatherings and memorial events to reflect on the day 14 years ago that resulted in the loss of nearly 3,000 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Origami crane is left at the 9/11 memorial before the ceremony to commemorate the 14th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks, on September 11, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: New York City firefighters participate in a memorial service for firefighters killed on September 11, 2001 at the New York City Fire Museum on September 11, 2015 in New York City. Three hundred and forty three firefighters, some viewed on the pictured memorial wall, were killed on September 11. Throughout the nation today people are holding somber gatherings and memorial events to reflect on the day 14 years ago that resulted in the loss of nearly 3,000 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Family members of a 9/11 victim embraces each other as they attend the 14th Anniversary ceremony of the terrorist attacks at the 9/11 memorial on September 11, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO/KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Johnell Santiago plays Amazing Grace on a street in lower Manhattan at the time of the attacks on September 11, 2015 in New York City. Santiago, who is from Waterbury, Connecticut felt the need to come to New York as a patriot. Throughout the nation today people are holding somber gatherings and memorial events to reflect on the day 14 years ago that resulted in the loss of nearly 3,000 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Lower Manhattan is viewed on September 11, 2015 in New York City. Throughout the nation today people are holding somber gatherings and memorial events to reflect on the day 14 years ago that resulted in the loss of nearly 3,000 people. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - SEPTEMBER 11: Loved ones pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial for those killed on the 14th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks at the site where two of four hijacked planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA on September 11, 2015. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Riders participate in the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride in New York on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The ride pays tribute to the first responders who led recovery efforts during and following the September 11th terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
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On Sept. 11, 2001, extremists linked to al-Qaeda hijacked four airlines and carried outside attacks. Two of the planes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York, a third hit the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C., and the fourth crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Earlier on AOL.com:

'Brad Meltzer's Lost History': The Ground Zero Flag

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