Firefighters were overcome with emotion Monday as they saluted their fallen brother Timothy Klein, a Breezy Point resident who was killed in the line of duty as he battled a three-alarm fire in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Sunday afternoon.
The 31-year-old firefighter from the Rockaways was honored with a bunting ceremony at the Engine 257 Ladder Company 70 firehouse where he was assigned for his entire six-year career and was known as the “Canarsie Kid.” He was killed in a partial collapse at 108-26 Ave. N, in which eight other firefighters were injured and a civilian was killed.
FDNY Captain Mark Schweighart spoke after the bunting ceremony that was attended by Klein’s girlfriend and sisters, saying “we are all heartbroken.”
“He liked being around everyone. This week will be very tough. He will be missed. We are all heartbroken,” Schweighart said. “I hope the people of New York and around the world say a prayer.”
He added that Klein’s death was “quite a loss to [the] Canarsie Bravest,” and that “we didn’t lose Timmy due to a lack of training. “Timmy was an officer’s dream; he was the guy you looked to and all the men and women in this house looked to. Timmy was squared away; he knew his job. The Department will now honor him and take care of his family. We will miss him and we will never forget him,”
Captain Schweighart said his firefighters would take a day to mourn their loss.
“We’re going to get back on those rigs,” he said. “Another day, and we’re going to honor Timmy by doing that. That’s what we do.”
The grief was palpable as hundreds of first responders lined up Sunday night outside the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner on East 26th Street and First Avenue and awaited the convoy bearing Klein’s remains. Led by an NYPD cruiser and a fire truck from Ladder 170, those holding ranks offered a solemn salute to the passing ambulance and kept it steady until Klein had been transported inside.
“Firefighter Timothy Klein gave new meaning to the name ‘New York’s Bravest.’ His heroics were matched only by his heart,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “To his family, loved ones and fellow firefighters: this city mourns with you tonight.”
Adams ordered flags across the city to be flown at half staff in his honor Monday while emotions were running high outside the Canarsie firehouse.
“It is always a tragedy for the city when we lose one of our brave first responders, but it really hits home when one of those people is a resident of your community,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “And that is the case with firefighter Timothy Klein who died on Sunday after battling a blaze in Brooklyn.”
Klein grew up in Breezy Point and lived in Rockaway.
Klein, a 2008 graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, is survived by his father, a retired FDNY firefighter, his mother and three sisters.
The school took to Facebook to mourn the loss of Klein.
“Archbishop Molloy High School mourns the passing of Firefighter Timothy Klein, a member of our Class of 2008, who passed away on April 24, 2022. Firefighter Klein, of Ladder Company 170, was bravely responding to a 3-alarm fire in Brooklyn when the structure he was in partially collapsed. Firefighter Klein is the 1,157th member of the FDNY to lose their life in the line of duty. He was a six-year veteran of the department,” the post read. “We pray for the repose of the soul of Firefighter Timothy Klein, that he is at peace in God’s care. We pray for his loved ones, including his parents, Patrick and Diane; his sisters, Tara (Klein) Kirby ’09, Bridget Klein ’12, and Erin Klein ’15; the FDNY; and Ladder Company 170. Firefighter Klein will be remembered as a hero and will forever be in our prayers.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards called Klein’s death “an absolutely devastating and tragic loss for our city” on Twitter and offered “the prayers of everyone in Queens” for his family, friends and colleagues.
“Firefighter Klein made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of NYC — a sacrifice we will never forget,” Richards wrote.
Firefighter Klein made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of NYC — a sacrifice we will never forget. https://t.co/Gho449iGBf
— Queens Borough President Donovan Richards (@QnsBPRichards) April 24, 2022
“Klein gave his life protecting others, and his bravery and memory will live on through his family and the people that he has saved,” Addabbo said. “I want to send my condolences to Klein’s family and friends, as well as Ladder Co.170, during this most difficult time, and I wish the other firefighters injured in that fire a speedy recovery.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell.