Hundreds of mourners filled a church on Long Island to remember 47-year-old FDNY Lt. Richard Nappi at his funeral Saturday.
Nappi died when he collapsed Monday as his engine company attacked a fire at a Brooklyn warehouse. FDNY authorities think he suffered heat exhaustion and a heart attack.
Nappi was remembered as a big, playful man who lived for his wife and two children and saw his service with the FDNY as far more than a vocation.
Hundreds of firefighters lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder, outside the Church of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Lake Ronkonkoma, and stood at attention as Nappi’s casket was carried into the chapel. The casket was draped with a Fire Department flag.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg in delivering the eulogy compared Nappi to the bulldog mascot at his Brooklyn firehouse, saying they both had “a stocky, powerful build, a playful, outgoing personality, and a tough, bulldog determination.”
“He never lost his taste for firehouse pranks and he loved a good time. But just like a bulldog, he was also all-business,” said Bloomberg. “Not just at fires like the one he helped bring under control in Brooklyn on Monday, but also when it came to training the firefighters in his command.”
Nappi began his career as an 18-year-old volunteer in the Smithtown Fire Department and in recent years served as an instructor at Suffolk County’s fire academy.