Thirty-five years ago,13-year-old Brian Hastings became the "man of house'' when his father, FDNY firefigher Harold Hastings of Hicksville, was killed in the department's deadliest fire before 9/11, which took the lives of six firefighters -- four from Long Island. Today, Hastings, a retired NYPD detective, reflects on the tragedy that took his father's life but also gave him the love of his life -- his wife, Caroline -- whose father also died in the deadly fire.
Smoke pours from a Waldbaum’s supermarket in the
Smoke pours from a Waldbaum’s supermarket in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn after the roof collapsed during the four-alarm blaze, sending 12 firemen into the fire. Six firefighters were killed and 28 injured in the worst disaster in 12 years for New York City’s Fire Department. (Aug. 2, 1978) (Credit: AP )
Newsday's front page on Aug. 3, 1978
Newsday's front page on Aug. 3, 1978 (Credit: Newsday)
Firefighter William O’Connor was killed in the Brooklyn
Firefighter William O’Connor was killed in the Brooklyn fire in 1978. (Credit: Handout)

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Firefighter George S. Rice died after an Aug.
Firefighter George S. Rice died after an Aug. 2, 1978 fire at a Brooklyn Waldbaum’s supermarket. (Credit: Handout)
Lt. James E. Cutillo died after a roof
Lt. James E. Cutillo died after a roof collapsed in a 1978 fire in Brooklyn. (Credit: Handout)
Firefighter Charles S. Bouton was among six FDNY
Firefighter Charles S. Bouton was among six FDNY members killed in an Aug. 2, 1978 fire in Brooklyn. (Credit: Handout)
Firefighter James P. McManus died after a roof
Firefighter James P. McManus died after a roof collapsed during a fire at a Waldbaum's supermarket in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn in 1978. (Credit: Handout)
Firefighter Harold Hastings was one of six FDNY
Firefighter Harold Hastings was one of six FDNY members who died in a 1978 fire in Brooklyn. (Credit: Handout)

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Caroline and Brian Hastings pose for a photo
Caroline and Brian Hastings pose for a photo after a memorial service for the victims of the 1978 Waldbaum's supermarket fire, at St. Brendan Roman Catholic Church in Midwood, Brooklyn. (Aug. 2, 2013) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)
FDNY members pause at a memorial service at
FDNY members pause at a memorial service at St. Brendan Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn for the victims of the 1978 Waldbaum's supermarket fire. (Aug. 2, 2013) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)
FDNY members stand at a memorial service for
FDNY members stand at a memorial service for the victims of the 1978 Waldbaum's supermarket fire, at St. Brendan Roman Catholic Church in Midwood, Brooklyn. The Aug. 2, 1978, fire at a Waldbaum's in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, claimed the lives of six FDNY members. (Aug. 2, 2013) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)
The son of a member of FDNY Engine
The son of a member of FDNY Engine 276 holds his father's hand at a memorial service for the victims of the Waldbaum's supermarket fire, at St. Brendan Roman Catholic Church in Midwood, Brooklyn. The Aug. 2, 1978, fire at a Waldbaum's in Brooklyn claimed the lives of six FDNY members. (Aug. 2, 2013) (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)