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LODD: 81-year-old FDNY inspector dies from heart attack on duty

William Klobus joined the department 11 years ago and may have been its oldest member

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Photo/ New York Fire Department

Duty Death: William Klobus - [New York City]

End of Service: 03/10/2022

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — An 81-year-old FDNY inspector — possibly the oldest active FDNY employee — died while conducting an inspection at the Queens Center Mall, union officials said Tuesday.

William Klobus joined the FDNY 11 years ago, when he was about 70, according to Local 2507, which represents city fire protection inspectors, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

Klobus collapsed at the mall on Oct. 3 after suffering a heart attack and died a short time later, officials said. He was in uniform and in the middle of a fire safety inspection when he was suddenly stricken.

The octogenarian was a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam war, said Oren Barzilay, Local 2507′s president.

“Even decades after others likely would have retired, he carried on and continued to serve the people of New York,” Barzilay said.

“Inspector William Klobus’ legacy of public service began with his service in Vietnam and continued until the very day he died. We salute his dedication and honor him for being so resolute towards making a positive contribution to public safety.”

The FDNY has about 400 fire protection inspectors visiting commercial and residential buildings throughout the five boroughs to make sure the buildings have met the city’s fire safety codes.

A memorial service for Klobus is expected to take place this week, union officials said.

Last week, scores of heartbroken FDNY employees attended the wake and funeral of EMS Lt. Alison Russo, who was on duty when she was murdered steps away from her EMS station on Sept. 29.


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