Marine Park

Firefighter Christopher Bopp Triangle

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

What was here before?

This site was once in the pathway of Gerritsen Creek, a freshwater creek that used to extend inland twice as far as it does today and would have passed by this site. Around 1920, the portion of the creek that lay north of Avenue U was converted into an underground storm drain. Though it is no longer visible, it still supplies the marsh with freshwater from further inland.           

How did this site become a triangle?

The City of New York purchased land for purposes of a public park, including for this parcel, in 1924. New land purchases increased the park’s area to 1822 acres by 1937 and that year, the Board of Aldermen named the site “Brooklyn Marine Park.” 

Who is this triangle named for?

This site was dedicated to FDNY Firefighter Christopher Michael Bopp (1971-1998) in 2001 during a ceremony where a Red Bud tree was planted in his memory. Born in Queens, Bopp moved to Marine Park, Brooklyn as a child on nearby 31st Street. He attended Xaverian High School where he played ice hockey. He would later play hockey for Fire Company 170.

Bopp attended The College of Staten Island and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. In 1993, he became a police officer with the NYPD where he served for three years in the 61st Precinct. In 1995, he married his wife Cori and joined FDNY Ladder Company 170 in Canarsie, Brooklyn. He then went on to Engine 24 in Manhattan and finally Engine 224 in Brooklyn. After his last rotation in October 1998, Bopp returned to Ladder Company 170.

On December 18, 1998, Firefighter Bopp and two fellow firefighters lost their lives during a fire at the Vandalia Senior Housing complex while trying to rescue a resident who had already escaped from the burning building. The two other men who died were Firefighter James Bohan and Lieutenant Joseph Cavalieri. Firefighter Bohan is honored with the James Bohan Memorial Hockey Rink in Queens’ Juniper Valley Park. A vest pocket park honors the memory of Lieutenant Cavalieri in his hometown of Malverne, Long Island, where three trees were planted in memory of the three heroic firefighters. Firefighter Bopp was posthumously awarded the Medal of Supreme Sacrifice and the Medal of Valor.

Directions to Marine Park

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