Everyday Heroes

Remembering A 9/11 Hero: Nick Ursta

Today we are remembering a man who literally gave his life to help others in one of America's darkest moments. We call him a hero and a friend.

Remembering A Hero

It's a time of reflection as we remember our friend. Hard to believe we barely knew Nick Ursta one year ago, but since then we have grown to love the man and his lovely wife Margaret. Nick was laid to rest on Saturday surrounded by friends and family, including fellow firefighters and other first responders.

Friday afternoon I talked to Margaret and she wanted to share the following message of thanks and gratitude for everyone's support.

Rallying A Community

The community support for this family has been nothing short of amazing. Since we first learned of Nick's battle with mesothelioma last year and started rallying to rebuild their dream home, the list of people and organizations joining the cause has swelled.

Even though Nick's cancer was caused by toxins at 9/11 when he was at the Ground Zero site with the White Oak Rescue Company, before his passing he reiterated the fact that he would do it all again without hesitation.

Nick Ursta's firefighter gear displayed during memorial services.

We Will Never Forget

I would encourage you to look back through our previous stories to see the outpouring of support for this wonderful man and his wife who has been by his side for the last 35 years. Let's remember his example and follow it as we lead our own lives.

Rest up my brother Nick, we will never forget.

Looking Back At The Ursta's Journey On Sparkt (Newest to Oldest below):

Nick and Margaret Ursta give Marty Griffin an update on remodeling progress at their home in Versailles Borough, PA. (2018)

Special Thanks

To everyone who contributed to the fund to give Nick the memorial and burial he deserved, a heartfelt "Thank You!". Together we all raised more than $11,000 dollars to cover the costs.

We also cannot thank enough the individuals, organizations, and companies that stepped up along the way to rebuild the Ursta home and get them moved in before Nick's passing. We apologize if we're missing anyone in the following list:


  • TUDI Mechanical Systems: They installed a brand new furnace and donated the entire system as part of their Heat For The Needy program.
  • Kevin Anglum and Tony Napolitano: These retired contractors have done the walls and ceilings drywall and sheet rock with additional volunteer assistance from the Carpenters and Joiners Union .
  • Maury Burgwin, President of the Mon Yough Area Chamber of Commerce : Burgwin is working with area businesses on materials and labor.
  • Anonymous: A mystery man paid for the roofing job installed by Nicolella Roofing .
  • Matt Mertz Plumbing : They have done a complete job of running all of the plumbing and making sure it's all up to code. It took a week of work and they didn't ask for a penny.
  • Michael Jacobs, President and Owner of Marvista Kitchen and Bath . Jacobs' team is working on the dream kitchen and bathrooms for Nick and Margaret.
  • 84 Lumber has donated the siding and materials to finish the exterior of the Ursta home.
  • Richard Garland and his volunteers from The Blessing Board are taking care of the labor, installing siding on all sides of the Ursta home.
  • Dan Horhut and his crew from Horthut Tree Experts cleaned up the piles and piles of debris from the trees and shrubbery that was removed from the yard.
  • Pat Molyneaux and his team at Molyneaux Tile Carpet Wood for taking care of the carpeting throughout the home.
  • Levin Furniture and an anonymous donor provided furnishings for the home: living room, dining room, and bedroom.
  • Voss TV & Appliance : Matt Hufford and the rest of the family at Voss really stepped up to take care of appliances for the Urstas Kitchen and even that fabulous TV that Nick cannot wait to fire up to watch his Pittsburgh Steelers in action.
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