June 2, 2002

Thomas Kuveikis: Lovable and Complicated

Tommy K. was a fine carpenter, so the guys happily let him build a steam room in Squad 252's firehouse.

Tommy K. was also a fine cook, but the guys almost body-blocked him from the kitchen: not tofu and vegetables, again, man, please!

Thomas Kuveikis, 44, was a lovable bundle of contradictions: a rescue firefighter devoted equally to his job in clamorous Brooklyn and to a secluded home on a dirt road in tiny Kent Cliffs, N.Y.

A strapping vegetarian and environmentalist who joked with his carnivorous buddies. A first-rate slob as a kid (an excavation of his teenage room would uncover the hardtop of a Triumph and a tank full of dead fish) who, said his sister, Chris Peschel, became a Mr. GQ as an adult, impeccably turned out