Timothy P. Klein, an FDNY firefighter since 2015, died while battling a fire in Canarsie, Brooklyn, April 24. He was 31.
Klein, who followed in the footsteps of his father, Patrick, in becoming a firefighter, was the 1,157th FDNY firefighter to die in the line of duty.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated April 29 in St. Francis de Sales Church, Belle Harbor, Queens. Auxiliary Bishop Edmund Whalen represented the archdiocese at the Mass.
“This was a very special boy and we knew it from early on,” said Diane Klein in her eulogy for her son at the Mass.
Mrs. Klein said her son faced health battles as a child, including being diagnosed with a rare form of anemia at nine months and having his spleen removed at age 2.
“He continued to struggle with health issues throughout his childhood but refused to let that stop him,” she said. “We believe going through his medical adversities played a very huge part in making him the unbelievable human being he turned out to be.”
Klein graduated from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy and Archbishop Molloy High School, both in Queens, before earning a bachelor’s degree in sports management from York College in Pennsylvania.
In 2019, Klein eulogized his friend and firefighter Steven Pollard, who lost his life in the line of duty. Acting FDNY Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh closed her eulogy for Klein with words he had used in eulogizing Pollard.
“We lost a true hero that day,” she said. “Though your time as a fireman was short, the impact you made and the example that you set will live on in the hearts of Canarsie forever. You will never be forgotten.”
A 21-year-old man, Carlos Richards, also died in the April 24 blaze.
In addition to his parents, Klein is survived by his sisters, Tara, Bridget and Erin. Burial was in St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale.