FDNY lieutenant found dead inside firehouse

Lt. Joe Maiello "was beloved [by] his fellow firefighters and fire officers," said FDNY-Fire Officers Association President James McCarthy

Duty Death: Joseph “Joe” Maiello - [Brooklyn, New York]

End of Service: 12/26/2021


Kristin F. Dalton and Lauren Lovallo
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A member of the FDNY was found dead inside his Westerleigh firehouse on Sunday morning, officials said.

Lt. Joseph Maiello, 53, was discovered unconscious inside Engine 163 & Ladder 83 on Jewett Avenue and pronounced dead at the scene. He was assigned to Ladder 83 and was on duty at the time, authorities said.

Lt. Joesph Maiello was discovered dead inside Engine 163/Ladder 83 headquarters, FDNY officials said.
Lt. Joesph Maiello was discovered dead inside Engine 163/Ladder 83 headquarters, FDNY officials said. (Photo/Tribune News Service)

The NYPD confirmed it received a call for an unconscious and unresponsive individual at 7:28 a.m.

The cause of death will be determined following an autopsy by the Chief Medical Examiner's office, the FDNY said. The death was believed to be natural, according to the NYPD.

"The Uniformed Fire Officers Association mourns the tragic and unexpected death of FDNY Lt. Joe Maiello, who passed away this morning, while on duty," said FDNY-Fire Officers Association President James McCarthy. "Our sincerest condolences and sympathies are extended to his loved ones during this heartbreaking time, just one day after the Christmas holiday.

"A 21-year member of the Department, Joe was beloved [by] his fellow Firefighters and Fire Officers at Engine Co. 163/ Ladder Co. 83, and his previous firehouse Engine Co. 282/ Ladder Co. 148, and known as a true leader in the Fire Department of New York. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we will always be here to support his wife and children now and in the future. Rest In Peace, Lt. Joe Maiello."

The married father of two worked a second job as a bartender at parties at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. Lois and Richard Nicotra said Maiello brought a friendly smile and attitude to his duties, and he made guests feel welcome and cared for.

"Joe always had a kind word for colleagues and guests and expressed to us that he was happy to be back when we reopened our event venues after the pandemic closures. We respected that he worked the two jobs; he was always grateful to be at work and good-natured — working two jobs and having two kids made for a full life and busy life," the Nicotras said in a statement. "We always thought he brought a friendly smile and attitude to to bartending events, and made our guests feel welcome and cared for. He will be missed. Our Nicotra family is sad today and expresses deep condolences to Irene and their children."

Residents told the Advance/SILive.com a large presence of NYPD and FDNY vehicles, including ambulances, descended on the firehouse around 9 a.m.

"We just want to know what happened so we [can] support our firefighters. We support them all in this neighborhood," said a person named Alan.

A section of Jewett was closed to traffic for "some time" during the morning, said another Westerleigh resident.

Another neighbor feared the worst given the amount of emergency vehicles outside the firehouse.

When the Advance/SILive.com visited the scene around noon, the block was quiet. After a short time, two men exited the firehouse and drove away. A lone fire truck sat parked outside.

In February 2020, the Twitter account @NYCFireWire shared news of Lt. Maiello's promotion following two decades with the FDNY. He was previously stationed at Ladder 148 in Brooklyn, said the tweet.

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(c)2021 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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