National News

Tributes Pour In For Fallen Firefighter Timothy Klein

Firefighter Timothy Klein was active in organizations that built ramps for wheelchair-bound residents of Canarsie and raised money for scholarships. (Photo: FDNY)

Six-Year FDNY Member Died Battling Blaze in Canarsie House

CANARSIE — A 31-year-old firefighter killed in the line of duty while battling a three-alarm fire in a Canarsie home on Sunday, April 24, is being hailed as a hero by city officials and those who knew him.

Firefighter Timothy Klein, assigned to Ladder 170 in Canarsie, died when a ceiling collapsed in a home at 10826 Avenue N, trapping him inside. Three other firefighters managed to escape the building by jumping out of second-story windows and climbing down ladders, FDNY officials said.

After Klein was brought out of the building, paramedics tried to revive him at the scene. He was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he died.

Several firefighters were injured in the fire, including two who suffered burns and had to be transported to the Burn Center at Staten University Hospital.

Mayor Eric Adams said the entire city is in mourning. “New York City has lost one of its bravest today — Firefighter Timothy Klein. We pray for his family and his fellow firefighters during this terribly painful time,” he said on Sunday.

Klein leaves behind his father, Patrick, a retired member of the FDNY, his mother Diane, and three sisters.

His funeral will take place on Friday, April 29, at St. Francis de Sales Church, 129-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Belle Harbor, said Father Jim Cunningham, the associate pastor. Firefighter Klein was a parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Church.

“The Department is heartbroken today at the loss of Firefighter Timothy Klein who died risking his life to save others,” said Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “The Klein family has a rich history of service in the FDNY and he bravely followed in their footsteps.”

Bishop Robert Brennan issued a statement on Twitter in the wake of the firefighter’s death. “Our hearts are broken. Let us pray that Christ our Risen Lord will receive him and grant him the fullness of life and peace and console his family and fellow firefighters,” Bishop Brennan said.

Keith Goldberg, executive director of the Catholic Youth Organization, knew Klein from the time the firefighter was a boy and described him in a Facebook post as an outstanding person. According to Goldberg, Klein played CYO sports at St. Francis de Sales and his parents served as coaches. 

“We love when CYO produces successful athletes but we are most proud of the Tim Kleins that CYO helps mold and produce,” he wrote on Facebook.

Klein offered a eulogy at the funeral of Firefighter Steven H. Pollard, a fellow member of Ladder 170 who died when he fell through a gap on the Mill Basin Bridge while responding to a two-car crash in January 2019.

Klein was active in the Firefighter Steven H. Pollard Memorial Foundation, which was formed after his death to provide scholarships in his name.

Klein also worked with the Fight for Firefighters Foundation, a non-profit organization that constructs ramps in homes for people who need them. On April 18, he posted photos on his Facebook page of a project in which foundation members installed handicapped accessible doors in the home of a firefighter’s son.

The foundation built a ramp in another home back in January to accommodate a little girl in a wheelchair. The Pollard Foundation donated the construction materials to the project.

Klein is the 1,557th FDNY member to die in the line of duty in the city’s history.