FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA ANNOUNCE THE DEATH OF FIREFIGHTER PAUL WARHOLA
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced the death of Firefighter Paul Warhola. Firefighter Warhola, of Engine Company 221 in Brooklyn and a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, died early this morning at Bellevue Hospital. He was taken to the hospital early Wednesday after suffering an apparent stroke while answering a fire call. Firefighter Warhola was 47 years old.
"Firefighter Paul Warhola really was one of the Bravest," said Mayor Bloomberg on his weekly radio show on WOR. "People put their lives on the line all the time to make this City safer, and sometimes they just don't come home."
"This is a terrible tragedy for the FDNY and the entire City of New York," said Commissioner Scoppetta. "Firefighter Warhola was an honored and respected member of this department. He will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to his family."
Early Wednesday, August 12, Engine 221 responded to a fire alarm activation in an apartment building at 164 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Firefighter Warhola, who was driving the fire engine, checked for a working fire hydrant outside the structure while the other members of Engine 221 entered the building to investigate the alarm.
When they returned to the street, Firefighter Warhola was experiencing weakness, dizziness and difficulty breathing. The firefighters began providing medical treatment and transported him back to the firehouse. While en route, Engine 221 contacted FDNY dispatchers and requested an EMS response to the firehouse, at 161 South 2nd Street. Upon arrival, FDNY paramedics evaluated Firefighter Warhola, recognized his symptoms as possibly stroke-related and transported him to Bellevue Hospital, which has a specialized unit for treating stroke victims.
Despite the treatment by hospital staff, Firefighter Warhola's condition continued to worsen, and he remained in critical condition at Bellevue until his death this morning.
Firefighter Warhola was appointed to the FDNY on January 16, 1994, and spent his entire career working at Engine 221.
Firefighter Warhola, a resident of Eastport, NY, is survived by his wife, Arleen; a son, Paul, 15; and a daughter, Tiana, 13.
He is the 1,141st member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty in the 145-year history of the Fire Department.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire Department)