Features, Health and Safety, Municipal Government, New York

Tragic Death of a Hero Firefighter

March 28, 2018

By Neal Tepel

Decorated Firefighter Michael R. Davidson died Friday March 24th from his injuries while battling a fire at a five-story building on St. Nicholas Avenue and 149th Street. Michael Davidson leaves behind his wife and four young children.

The 37 year-old hero firefighter, died in the building of smoke inhalation after getting trapped in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Avenue. Davidson got separated from the rest of his unit and was found unconscious in the basement. The fire broke out as a result of a faulty boiler.

Traffic ground to a halt on Tuesday morning March 27th in Manhattan to make way for the funeral procession at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Thousands of firefighters from the city and across the country attended the funeral along with friends and relatives. New Yorkers lined the streets and shared in mourning the loss of Lt. Michael Davidson. White-gloved firefighters lined bridges spanning the highway, saluting, and American flags were placed throughout the Big Apple.

The casket arrived at the cathedral on Tuesday morning atop a fire engine. Outside St. Patrick’s, firefighters in dress uniform stood at attention as Firefighter Davidson’s casket, covered in the FDNY’s red and white colors, arrived on the firetruck. Cardinal Timothy Dolan officiated at the funeral Mass and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro eulogized the veteran firefighter. After Tuesday’s service, pallbearers carried firefighter Davidson’s casket to the sound of bagpipes. As the precession proceeded through the huge doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral towards the usually noisy street, an eerie silence greeted the mourners leaving the church. Outside St. Patrick’s stood hundreds of New Yorkers saluting this great firefighter hero and not a sound could be heard.

“The deadly fire in Harlem was a horrific tragedy, said UFA President Gerald Fitzgerald. “Our hearts break for Firefighter Michael R. Davidson’s wife, Eileen, his four children and his brothers at Engine 69 and Ladder 28, and all of our FDNY family. Firefighter Michael Davidson served his city proudly for fifteen years. Firefighter Davidson is a hero, and in his death embodies the title of ‘Bravest’. His death is a reminder of the dangerous work New York City firefighters do every day in our city. Firefighter Michael R. Davidson’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

March 28, 2018

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