FDNY Firefighter Timothy Klein at left. At right the three-alarm...

FDNY Firefighter Timothy Klein at left. At right the three-alarm fire in Brooklyn that Klein was fighting when the ceiling collapsed. Credit: @FDNY Twitter; Lou Minutoli

An FDNY firefighter died Sunday afternoon after being caught in a partial ceiling collapse while fighting a house fire in Brooklyn that also killed a civilian, officials said.

Mayor Eric Adams identified the firefighter as Timothy Klein, 31, who had six-and-a-half years on the job. Klein's father also was a firefighter, the mayor said.

"We pray for him and his family and the city," Adams said at a news conference early Sunday evening.

Klein, a member of the team that operated the nozzle for Ladder Company 170 in Canarsie, was one of four firefighters caught in the partial ceiling collapse in the Avenue N home. An incident commander, observing suddenly deteriorating conditions and the floor being engulfed in flames, had just instructed those firefighters to get out.

All the others were able to escape, jumping out of windows or climbing down ladders, said FDNY acting Chief of Department John Hodgens.

"Our members worked feverishly and very, very hard under difficult conditions" to reach Klein but they were unable to, said Hodgens and "he succumbed to his injuries." 

Firefighters embrace after saluting the remains of Timothy Klein, the 1,157th...

Firefighters embrace after saluting the remains of Timothy Klein, the 1,157th member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty. Credit: @FDNY Twitter

Klein, of Queens, was the 1,157th NYPD firefighter to die in the line of duty, officials said. In 2019, he had given the eulogy for another FDNY firefighter from the same Brooklyn firehouse who died in the line of duty, Steven Pollard.

The FDNY said, including Klein, nine firefighters were injured in the fire. 

Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said: "I cannot describe the heartbreak of the FDNY today."

In a news release later Kavanagh said: “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.”

The FDNY Facebook page showed a large crowd of firefighters standing outside of the Brookdale Hospital to salute Klein, as his body was transferred to another facility Sunday night. They lined up from the ambulance to the hospital entrance to pay their respects and some embraced shortly afterward.

FDNY members salute Firefighter Timothy Klein during his dignified transfer...

FDNY members salute Firefighter Timothy Klein during his dignified transfer from Brookdale Hospital. Credit: @FDNY Twitter

The fire call for the home came in at about 1:49 p.m., Kavanagh  said. Later Sunday night, Fabien Levy, Adams’ press secretary, said a second victim had been found dead. The FDNY said in an email that the identification of the person who was found is pending the medical examiner’s findings.

Klein was from Belle Harbor, Queens, according to a person briefed on the fire.

According to the FDNY, Klein was appointed to the department on Dec. 28, 2015, and after graduating from the fire academy, was assigned to Ladder Company 170.

He is survived by his father, retired FDNY Firefighter Patrick Klein, his mother Diane, and his three sisters, the FDNY said. Klein's mother was too distraught to comment.

In Jan. 2019, Klein’s firehouse in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn mourned the death of fellow FDNY firefighter Pollard, who fell to his death through a gap in a roadway while responding to a car crash on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.

Klein, in a eulogy at Pollard's services, had said of his friend and comrade: "when it came to fire duty, Steve showed no fear."  Klein had added: "We lost a true hero that night...Stevie, it breaks my heart to know the days working alongside you are over."

Funeral arrangements were pending, the FDNY said.

In February 2022, Jesse Gerhard, 33, a member of Ladder 134 in Far Rockaway, Queens, who also served as a volunteer firefighter in Islip for 13 years, died a day after he helped battle a two-alarm fire in Far Rockaway. He had suffered an undisclosed "medical episode" and before Klein, was the last FDNY firefigher to due in the line of duty.

With Darwin Yanes

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