Anya Klein, a radical feminist writer who spent her career fighting male privilege, was killed in a house fire on Saturday night. She was 36 years old. First responders reported that Klein refused emergency assistance and requested that a female firefighter and a lawyer be sent just before her passing.
Police say neighbors called to report smoke rising from the roof of Klein’s two bedroom home just after 6:30pm. While attempting to escape, one of her legs became trapped beneath a collapsed beam. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes but were unable to obtain consent to assist in her rescue. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Klein’s death came as a shock to her many fans, who considered her one of the leading experts on the topics of male privilege and toxic masculinity. She left behind a large body of work, including her controversial “YES still means NO” brochure campaign at college fraternities.
“She was so incredibly unique,” wrote a friend on her Facebook memorial page. “She was a vegan who cared about animals, enjoyed yoga, had various food sensitivities and rarely laughed. The world will be a little less safe without her in it.”
According to a police report, Klein refused to take the hand of a uniformed firefighter who was attempting to free her from debris. According to one officer, Klein also demanded to speak to her lawyer and a “female supervisor” even after she was engulfed in flames.
Fans of Klein have requested an independent investigation to determine the culpability of the local fire department in her death. “Anya’s passing has left plenty of unanswered questions,” read one comment on her website. “We want to know why there were no female firefighters available that day and whether the male first responders made any comments about her appearance in her final moments.”
The circumstances surrounding Klein’s death have also been questioned by close friend and neighbor, Kim Wood, who told a reporter that she did not trust the testimony in the police report.
“Anya was completely covered in flames, but I clearly saw her arm extended in a ‘stop’ gesture towards a male firefighter,” said Wood. “Fire or no fire, a man always needs to ask for consent before touching a woman.”