EAST NEW YORK — A devoted Parks Department employee critically injured after leaping from a second-floor window to escape a deadly fire last week has succumbed to his injuries, according to coworkers and the city's Medical Examiner.
James Anthony Frye, 47, had been in a medically-induced coma at Brookdale Hospital since the June 2 blaze at 390 Georgia Ave., which killed a 59-year-old woman and left nine others injured. He died Thursday night, co-workers said.
“He was a gentle giant,” said Marlena Giga, 39, the head of the Parks Department workers union, Local 983, of which Frye was a member. “He was the type of individual who would always assist an elderly person. If someone needed extra help, he was the one I would always go to.”
News of the death was first reported by NYC Parks Advocates blogger Geoffrey Croft.
Frye was as a city seasonal aid — a security guard in the Parks Department — for 10 years, and worked extensively to secure the Coney Island beach and boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, coworkers said.
Frye also provided security at Bushwick Inlet Park and in Prospect Park, said Giga, who worked with Frye during her time as a Parks Department sergeant.
“He would go above and beyond what the other security did to assist anybody,” she said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. An autopsy on Frye has yet to be performed, according to the city's Medical Examiner's office.
Frye's family could not immediately be reached for comment.