Funeral Held for New York Firefighter Killed in the Line of Duty

(Auburndale-WABC, December 20, 2003) -- One of New York's bravest will be laid to rest Saturday morning in Queens. Thomas Brick, 30, died fighting a factory fire this week.

He is the second firefighter killed in the line of duty since 9/11. Thomas Brick was among the first class of firefighters to join New York's bravest after so many of them died in the World Trade Center attacks. Those who knew him said he died doing a job that he loved.

Brick was killed in a ferocious fire at a mattress factory and storage area in Upper Manhattan on Tuesday. Fire officials say he was one of the first firefighters to run into the burning building. Under heavy smoke -- fueled by smoldering mattresses -- he got cut off from the others. Firefighters searched frantically only to find their colleague crushed by fallen debris. He died of burns and cardiac arrest.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York: "There is nothing that I can say that will bring back this brave young man. But when you go to bed tonight, remember you are safer because of him and many others like him."

The crew of Ladder Company 36 consoled each other at a wake for Thomas Brick on Thursday. Brick joined the department in January 2002. His colleagues praised him as a hard worker -- the guy whose specialty was doing whatever they needed him to do. Brick leaves behind a family, two children, and colleagues full of admiration.

The funeral began at 11 a.m. at St. Kevin's Church.

Three other firefighters were injured in Tuesday's blaze. And the fire is still under investigation.

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