One of Canarsie’s Bravest and a resident were killed in a raging three alarm fire in Canarsie on Sunday, April 24th.
At 1:49 p.m., firefighters responded to reports of “smoke in the area” at 108-26 Avenue N, which quickly escalated into a three alarm blaze.
Over 100 firefighters from 33 units arrived to battle the inferno, which started on the first floor of the two-story semi-attached residence and quickly spread to the second floor.
As conditions deteriorated, a call was made by the Incident Commander, ordering all firefighters to evacuate the building. Several bailed out through the rear windows, but Timothy Klein, 31, a six-year veteran of Ladder 170, was trapped inside when the ceiling collapsed. Fellow firefighters removed him from the home and rushed him to Brookdale Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Three other members were injured while inside the house during the collapse, and a total of nine firefighters were injured.
Flames engulfed the attached residence and melted the siding on two homes on each side of the burning building.
Mayor Eric Adams was seen leaving the scene. He said, “New York City has lost one of its bravest today – Firefighter Timothy Klein. He lost his life doing the job we asked of him every day – bravely fighting to save others from fire. We pray for his fellow firefighters during this terribly painful time.”
The family of Carlos Richards, 21, reported him missing when flames erupted in the home. He was alone in the house at the time of the fire. Sadly, a body was found hours later by firefighters and was positively identified as Richards, an autistic man who lived with his mother and was the son of a retired NYPD cop, according to the New York Post.
A press conference was held by Mayor Adams and Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh later that evening at Brookdale Hospital, officially announcing the death of the Canarsie firefighter.
“The Department is heartbroken today at the loss of Firefighter Timothy Klein, who died risking his life to save others,” said Acting Commissioner 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.”
Firefighters gathered at Brookdale Hospital to pay their respects and salute the fallen hero, as his body was being removed from the hospital to be taken to the Medical Examiner’s office.
Klein, who was assigned to Ladder Company 170 but was working in Engine Company 257 on Sunday, responded to the scene in under five minutes. The son of retired Firefighter Patrick Klein, he is the 1,157th member of the FNDY to die in the line of duty.
Residents reported that two nearby fire hydrants were not functioning, and firefighters had to use a fire hydrant on Avenue N and Flatlands 9th Street to get water. An investigation is being done to determine why the hydrants were not working.
The Canarsie firehouse is mourning his loss – this is the second loss for them in three years. Klein delivered the eulogy for fellow firefighter and friend, Steven Pollard, who was killed while responding to a car crash on the Mill Basin Bridge in January 2019.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Photos by Lloyd Mitchell