Brooklyn remembers Timothy Klein after 31-year-old firefighter killed in Canarsie blaze

timothy klein bunting ceremony
Firefighters draped the Canarsie firehouse where Klein served for six years in purple and black bunting on Monday as the community mourned the loss of the 31-year-old firefighter.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Late firefighter Timothy Klein is being remembered for his act of heroism giving up his life battling a three-alarm fire at a Canarsie home on Sunday afternoon.

More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene of the blaze on Avenue N. Nine of New York’s Bravest were injured while battling the fire, and a 21-year-old resident of the home was found dead after the flames were brought under control. 

The Canarsie firehouse where Klein worked for six years, Ladder Company 170/Engine Company 257, was draped in purple and black bunting on Monday as emergency responders commemorated Klein’s life and service. Hailing from Queens, Klein followed in the footsteps of his father, retired firefighter Patrick Klein.

“He was known as the Canarsie kid,” said Captain Mark Schweighart at Monday’s bunting ceremony. “He liked being around everyone. This week will be very tough, he will be missed.”

timothy klein
Timothy Klein followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the New York City Fire Department in 2015. Klein was killed while fighting a three-alarm blaze in Canarsie on Sunday.Photo courtesy of the New York City Fire Department

Klein’s death is a blow to Canarsie’s bravest, he said.

“We are all heartbroken,” Schweighart continued. “I hope the people of New York and around the world say a prayer.”

The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, also known as Answer the Call, has announced that it will provide 31-year-old Klein’s parents with $50,000.

“Firefighter Klein died a true hero,” said Stephen Dannhauser, Board Chair of Answer the Call, in a statement. “He followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the FDNY six years ago and died far too young, at just 31 years old, while protecting our city. Our organization vows to never forget his sacrifice and the sacrifices all first responders make each and every day.”

Founded in 1985, Answer the Call provides immediate financial support to the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, and continue to provide funding to those families that need it for the rest of their lives. Klein is survived by his parents and three sisters, according to the FDNY.

timothy klein ceremony
Firefighters, friends, and family gathered outside the firehouse where Klein served for six years to remember him on Monday. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The department’s Fire Safety Education Unit set up an information station on Monday afternoon, supplying the community with information and smoke detectors in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy.

“New York City has lost one of its bravest today – Firefighter Timothy Klein,” said Mayor Eric Adams, in an April 24 statement. “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.”

Firefighters were ordered out of the structure as conditions deteriorated, said FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh at a press conference on Sunday evening, and the ceiling partially collapsed as they exited, trapping four firemen, including Klein, inside, according to the fire department. Two were sent to Staten Island University hospitals with burns, while Klein and one of his fellow firefighters were sent to Brookdale University Medical Center, where Klein succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening.

timothy klein memorial
Firefighters remembered their fallen colleague outside the Canarsie firehouse where he worked for six years on Monday. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“The Department is heartbroken today at the loss of Firefighter Timothy Klein, who died risking his life to save others,” Kavanagh said, in a release. “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.”