INWOOD - The Tunnel to Towers Foundation announced Tuesday that it will take over the mortgage payments for the family of a fallen Inwood firefighter.

Inwood Fire Chief Joseph Sanford Jr. died two days before Christmas from injuries he suffered on Dec. 19 while fighting a house fire. During the incident, Sanford fell through the first floor and was found in the basement unconscious.

His wife Jacqueline Sanford says the past few months have been difficult for her family, but made easier with the support from members of the fire department.

In addition to the help from Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the mortgage holder has agreed to pay off half of the mortgage.

"Because your family has paid a tremendous sacrifice, your husband is a hero," said Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors the sacrifice of fallen firefighter Stephen Siller, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel on Sept. 11, 2001 with his gear on to save lives at the World Trade Center.