New Jersey Roundup

Mass to honor cop who worked on 9/11 cleanup

Monday, January 09, 2006

A funeral mass for James Zadroga, 34, a former New York City police detective who worked for hundreds of hours at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, will be held tomorrow.

Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said the 34-year-old Little Egg Harbor resident was the first emergency responder to die as a result of exposure to dust and debris at the World Trade Center.

An autopsy was pending last night.

Zadroga grew up in North Arlington and attended Bergen Community College. He worked for the New York City Police Department for 13 years before leaving on disability in 2004.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Zadroga was driving home from work when the first jet hit the World Trade Center. He returned to New York and worked on the recovery effort for two weeks, sleeping only a couple of hours each day, said his father, Joseph Zadroga.

Palladino said Zadroga developed black lung disease and mercury on the brain.

Zadroga is survived by his 4-year-old daughter, mother, father and older brother.

The funeral will be held at Queen of Peace Church in North Arlington at 10 a.m. A wake will be held today from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Wilfred Armitage Funeral Home in Kearny. Union Twp.