The family of an FDNY captain, who died decades ago after fighting a major fire in Queens, is demanding his name be added to a memorial wall honoring those who died in the line of duty.
Richard Meister says he never knew his grandfather, FDNY Captain Hans Meister, but he’s heard plenty of stories about the impact he had on other members of his family.
“My dad slept under the coffin for the first two nights of my grandfather lying in state at the family home,” Meister said.
The FDNY captain died in 1943, five days after battling a massive warehouse fire at the Diesel Electric Company in Long Island City.
“The next day, he had a mild cough, the day after it got worse.
He said it was like he had something in his lungs that he couldn't clear,” Meister said of his grandfather. At the time of his death, Captain Meister’s death was not linked to the fire. But, the family is convinced he suffered from acute respiratory distress.