Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano today announced the death of Lieutenant Richard A. Nappi of Engine Company 237, a 17-year veteran of the FDNY who suffered an apparent heart attack while battling a three-alarm fire this afternoon in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Lieutenant Nappi, who lived in Suffolk County and leaves behind a wife and two children, was 47 years old.
At 1 p.m. today, Engine Company 237 responded to a fire in a two-story commercial building at 930 Flushing Avenue. Arriving with several additional companies within three minutes, Lieutenant Nappi led a team of firefighters who stretched and operated a hoseline in a mezzanine area of the first floor. While battling the fire, Lt. Nappi became overheated and collapsed. Firefighters from Ladder Company 112 removed him on a stretcher to the street where he initially was conscious and alert. He was placed in an ambulance and EMS personnel began to treat him when he suddenly became unconscious and suffered cardiac arrest. While EMT's and Paramedics continued to work on him, he was rushed by ambulance to Woodhull Hospital where he later died.
After his appointment to the FDNY on October 23, 1994, then-Firefighter Nappi worked in Engine Company 7 on Duane Street in lower Manhattan. Although he was off-duty on September 11, 2001, he responded from home that morning to the World Trade Center – which was several blocks from his firehouse. In 2003, he transferred to Engine Company 302 in Queens, and – after his promotion to Lieutenant on November 10, 2007, he was assigned to Engine 237.
Prior to joining the FDNY, Lieutenant Nappi was a Parole Officer for the New York State Division of Parole, and also worked for several years as a case worker for Suffolk’s Department of Social Services.
He was a graduate of Iona College, where he received a BA in criminal justice in 1984.
In addition to his work as a member of FDNY, Lieut. Nappi also served as a volunteer firefighter and Deputy Chief Instructor with the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank.
Prior to joining the FDNY, he was a Parole Officer (1992-1994) for the NYS Division of Parole, and a case worker for the Suffolk County Department of Social Services (1987-1992).
Lieutenant Nappi is the 1,142nd firefighter to die in the line of duty since the FDNY’s founding in 1865. The last member of the Department to die on the job was Firefighter Paul Warhola of Engine 221, on August 14, 2009.
Lieutenant Nappi is survived by his wife, Mary Anne, and their children Catherine, 12, and Nicholas, 11.
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