New York, NY – A 31-year-old New York City Firefighter has died from injuries he sustained after becoming trapped in a partial second floor ceiling collapsed during a three-alarm Brooklyn house fire on Sunday afternoon that also claimed the life of a 21-year-old civilian, yet to be officially identified.
Firefighter Timothy Klein was a six-year veteran and was assigned to Ladder Company 170 but was working in Engine Company 257 when he responded to 108-26 Avenue N in Brooklyn at 1:49 p.m. Sunday, April 24. By 2:15, a third alarm was issued. Over a hundred firefighters responded.
Klein was extracted from the collapse by his co-workers and rushed to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center where he died.
According to multiple press reports, three other firefighters were able to exit just before the collapse. Eight other firefighters were injured, three of whom remain in the hospital in stable condition, according to an FDNY spokesman.
Back in January of 2019, Firefighter Klein delivered the eulogy for his friend, Ladder Company 170 Firefighter Steven Pollard, who also died on the job from injuries he sustained after falling 50-feet through a gap in the Belt Parkway bridge while responding to a two-car crash on the highway.
The New York Times reported that at that funeral, “Klein grew emotional as he spoke about Mr. Pollard’s sacrifice” telling mourners that “Steven Pollard died not thinking of himself but trying to help others. We lost a true hero that night.”
“The tragic loss of Firefighter Klein brings sorrow to the City of New York, its eight million residents, and every member of the FDNY Family, said Andrew Ansbro, president of the FDNY-Firefighters Association, in a statement. “Firefighter Klein is a hero to this city, this country, and his fellow firefighters, and will be eternally remembered for making the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live. There are no words that aptly describe the loss of a fellow Firefighter in your company and this department, and the Klein family is now living the worst nightmare of every person who has ever sworn the sacred oath to the FDNY.”
“We are saddened and heartbroken by the loss of Firefighter Klein, who died today while battling a fire in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn,” said Lt. James McCarthy, president of the FDNY-Fire Officers Association, in a statement. “His sacrifice embodies the ultimate heroism, laying down his life for others. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones during this unspeakably tragic time and will be here to support our brothers in the Department as we salute Firefighter Klein for the final time.”
“New York City has lost one of its bravest today – Firefighter Timothy Klein,” said Mayor Adams. “He lost his life doing the job we asked of him every day – bravely fighting to save others from fire. We pray for his family and his fellow Firefighters during this terribly painful time.”
“The Department is heartbroken today at the loss of Firefighter Timothy Klein, who died risking his life to save others,” said Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “His family has a rich history of service in the FDNY, and he bravely followed in their footsteps. The hearts of the entire Department are with the Klein family and with the members of Engine Company 257 and Ladder Company 170.”
According to Firefighter Klein’s LinkedIn page, he graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and went on to get his Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management from York College of Pennsylvania. Before coming to the Fire Department in December of 2015, he worked as a gym coordinator, spent time working for the New York Rangers in the Madison Square Garden marketing department and a summer for the National Park Service.
“Firefighter Klein is the 1,157th member of the FDNY to die in the line-of-duty,” according to the FDNY. “A resident of Queens, he is survived by his father, retired FDNY Firefighter Patrick Klein, his mother Diane, and his three sisters. The last member of the Department to die in the line of duty was Firefighter Jesse Gerhard, who died on February 16, 2022. Funeral arrangements are pending.”
As is standard FDNY policy, the circumstances surrounding Firefighter Klein’s are under investigation by the FDNY Safety Command which typically can take several months.