FLATBUSH – The Flatbush Ave-Brooklyn College Subway Station will be home to a memorial in honor of train operator Garrett Goble who was killed in an arson fire in March in Harlem.
On March 27 at around 3 a.m., a person intentionally started a fire at the 110th Street and Lenox Avenue station on the 2/3 lines. After the fire was extinguished, 36-year-old Goble, who was operating the northbound 2 train, was found in the station’s tunnel where he had been leading passengers to safety. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and was pronounced dead. More than a dozen straphangers were also injured in the blaze. In addition to his wife Delilah, Goble is survived by two children and his mother Vicki.
Nathaniel Avinger, 50, was accused of setting the fire with a disposable lighter and paper. He was arraigned this Saturday on murder and arson charges, AP reported.
“This was an important case for the NYC Transit family and for the NYPD,” Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, commanding officer of the NYPD Transit Bureau said. “It was a senseless crime that cost a heroic train operator who was moving essential workers across the city his life, and we worked tirelessly to bring his loved ones the justice and closure they and he deserved.”
Yesterday, Monday, December 21, Goble’s family and community members gathered in Flatbush (where he grew up) to announce a memorial in his honor at the subway station. Officials planned to commission a work of art for placement at the station to honor Goble’s legacy, and the MTA will work with Goble’s family to accept ideas and submissions from local artists. A dedication plaque will also be fabricated for the station.
“Today is an emotional day for everyone at NYC Transit, but we also feel tremendous relief,” NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said. “Nothing can bring Garrett back, but this is progress, and we are grateful. I have had the great fortune of getting to know Garrett’s wife Delilah over the course of the last year and know this arrest brings great comfort to her and the entire Goble family. Now our greatest responsibility is to continue to work with our partners to keep our workers safe, and to continue to find ways to honor Garrett in the months and years ahead.”