FDNY firefighter killed: Funeral for Timothy Klein set for Friday

CANARSIE, Brooklyn (WABC) – The funeral for fallen FDNY Firefighter Timothy Klein will take place on Friday in Belle Harbor, Queens.

The ceremony will be held at St. Francis de Sales Church, 129-16 Rockaway Beach Blvd., said Father Jim Cunningham, the associate pastor.

The notice was posted in a Brooklyn diocese publication. Firefighter Klein was a parishioner of St. Francis de Sales Church and a lifelong Rockaways resident.

Flags flew at half staff Monday as New York City as the FDNY mourned the 31-year-old firefighter, who was killed while battling a fire in Canarsie, Brooklyn, over the weekend.

Klein’s body was escorted from Brookdale Hospital to a funeral home in Brooklyn Monday evening. Along the route, there was a solemn bouquet of honor and respect in the city that has lost another of its bravest.

A ceiling collapsed as firefighters battled a third alarm blaze, trapping Klein and sending other firefighters scrambling to safety.

Several people jumped out windows to escape the flames and smoke, and the remains of another person – identified as 21-year-old Carlos Richards – were also found in the fire-ravaged structure.

Klein, a six-year veteran and the son of a retired firefighter, was trapped in the collapse shortly after home at 108-26 Avenue N went up in flames at around 1:40 pm Sunday.

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“Timmy understood the risks, we all do, growing up in a firefighter family,” cousin Keith Klein said. “Timmy leaves behind his parents who adored him, three younger sisters who idolized him, a beautiful girlfriend was devastated, understandably. Countless uncles, aunts, cousins, and childhood friends. It’s quite a loss.”

Klein was on the second floor with three other firefighters when the floor gave way. The other firefighters managed to jump to safety out windows or down ladders, but Klein was unable to escape.

“The incident commander identified deteriorating conditions and ordered all members out of the building,” acting FDNY commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at Brookdale University Hospital, where Klein was pronounced dead. “As they were doing so, there was a partial collapse of the ceiling. Four members were caught in that collapse. Three made it out and are stable in local hospitals at this time.”

As for Richards, a police dog detected the human remains in the rubble, and although the building was unstable, firefighters were able to retrieve the body.

Richards was a resident with autism who was unaccounted for in the fire and reported missing by relatives.

The fire left the house structurally unstable, and it was demolished Monday afternoon. But the images of horror remain.

“(Klein) was an officer’s dream, the guy you looked to,” FDNY Captain Mark Schweighardt said. “We’re going to miss him. He did a lot of work for charities on his days off, and we are heartbroken here.”

Adams said the injuries of five other firefighters were not considered life-threatening, and the investigation is ongoing into the cause of the blaze.

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Schweighardt said duty calls, however, and the department is ready.

“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.”

Klein is the second FDNY firefighter to die in the line of duty this year, and he is the 1,157th member of the FDNY to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Bunting now hangs at Ladder 170, Engine Company 257 in his honor.

Jesse Gerhard, 33, died February 16 when he collapsed at his firehouse just one day after battling a house fire in Far Rockaway, Queens.

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