Daniel F. Pujdak, 23, of Brooklyn, NY was climbing from the ladder onto the roof of a building at 83 Messerole St. in Williamsburg, where a fire had been sparked by a cigarette left smoldering on a windowsill, when he fell to his death.
Firefighter Daniel F. Pujdak, Ladder Company 146
With regret, the Department announces the death of Firefighter Daniel F. Pujdak, L-146 (appointed September 25, 2005) which occurred on Thursday, June 21, 2007, as result of injuries sustained while operating at Brooklyn Box 247, transmitted at 1655 hours on June 21, 2007.
New York - Firefighter Daniel F. Pujdak, 23, of Ladder 146 was laid to rest on June 26, after a funeral mass at St. Cecilias RC Parish in Brooklyn. He made the Supreme Sacrifice while operating at an all-hands fire in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on June 21. “He didn’t want to be a hero, he just wanted to be who he was,” said the Firefighter Pujdak’s father, Leo. “He was such a great man, such a great firefighter. We were blessed to know him.”
Thousands of firefighters, dignitaries, family members and friends lined the streets to pay their respects the firefighter.
“He made himself an instrument of peace and safety for the people of New York City and we will be forever grateful,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Firefighter Pujdak was remembered as kind, unselfish, adventurous and an eager learner.
“He was a rising star and he did us all proud,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. “He was right where he wanted to be.”
Captain Jerry Horton, Jr. of Ladder 146 said, “He was a hero and he should be remembered as a hero. He was living his dream. I wish I had 25 firefighters just like him.”
Firefighter Pujdak, a resident of Fresh Meadows, Queens, was appointed to the FDNY on September 25, 2005. He is survived by his parents, Leo and Christina, and his brothers, Matthew and David.
“Danny never took life for granted,” said his girlfriend, Vanessa Pschirrer. “He loved life and wanted to make everyone happy. And he did.”