9/11 Firefighter Dies of Heart Attack Battling Brooklyn Blaze

Lt. Richard Nappi is survived by a wife, a daughter and a son

By Andrew Siff and Katy Tur
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 8:39 AM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
The FDNY is mourning the loss of one of its own. Lt. Richard Nappi collapsed battling a warehouse fire in Brooklyn on Monday. Andrew Siff reports.

NBC New York

The FDNY is mourning the loss of one of its own. Lt. Richard Nappi collapsed battling a warehouse fire in Brooklyn on Monday. Andrew Siff reports.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Friends, Family Mourn Fallen L.I. Firefighter

Lt. Richard Nappi was overcome by heat and collapsed while battling a warehouse fire in Brooklyn. News 4's Katy Tur spoke with his fellow firefighters in Farmingville, on Long Island.
More Photos and Videos

A Brooklyn firefighter who was a 9/11 responder died Monday after he was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest from the scene of a warehouse fire.

A 17-year veteran of the force, Lt. Richard Nappi was overcome by heat and collapsed while battling the blaze.

It was the FDNY's first line-of-duty death in nearly three years.

At the hospital, Mayor Bloomberg comforted Nappi's widow, Mary Anne, his 12-year-old daughter, Catherine and his 11-year-old son, Nicholas, saluting the sacrifice their loved one made keeping the city safe.

"It's very tragic. There's nothing we can ever say," Bloomberg said. "They were in love, lived together, had kids. All of a sudden, he's gone."

Nappi, a 47-year-old native of the Bronx who lived on Long Island, was a responding firefighter on 9/11. The mayor said Nappi "helped rebuild our city in ways New Yorkers understand."

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, who worked with Nappi while he was assigned to Engine 7 in lower Manhattan, called him "a leader that people would follow."

Before joining the FDNY, Nappi was a parole officer and a case worker for Suffolk County's Department of Social Services.

In addition to his work with the FDNY, Nappi also served as a volunteer firefighter and deputy chief instructor with the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank.

"Rich was a character. He was a very outgoing, bubbly type of person," said Chief Bob Hopkins, who worked with Nappi at the Yaphank training center.

It's not clear what cause Nappi to suffer a heart attack but officials suggested the uncharacteristically hot April day was a contributing factor.

"When the firefighters are wearing bunker gear, they're encapsulated. It's very warm," said FDNY Chief Medical Officer Kerry Kelly. "When you add the ambient temperature being so hot, it adds to the burden on an individual."

Seven other firefighters were injured battling the fire, which broke out in a warehouse in Bushwick at about 1 p.m., authorities said.

A large pile of cardboard boxes reportedly caught fire on the second floor of the two-story warehouse on Flushing Avenue.

The fire was brought under control just before 4 p.m.  More than 150 firefighters worked on the blaze. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Sign up for email newsletters here. Get breaking news delivered right to your phone -- just text NYBREAKING to 639710. For more info, text HELP. To end, text STOP. Message and data rates may apply.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Follow us on Instagram!
We post photos taken by our news... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out