Funeral held for fallen NYC firefighter

Image 1 of 3

A New York City firefighter killed while battling a fire on a movie set has been hailed as a hero in the majestic St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, noting that Catholics are observing Holy Week, said Tuesday that Michael Davidson, 37, gave his life for others, as Jesus did. Dolan said Davidson's blood contained "the DNA of the FDNY" and that his "service as a fireman was a vocation, hardly a job."

During the mass, Eric Davidson described his brother as "salt of the earth."

"An individual considered a representative of the best or noblest elements of society," he said. "Now if that's not a perfect summation of the person Michael was, then I don't know what is."

"For him, it was not just enough to serve," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the service. "He exhibited so many forms of leadership. He was a cornerstone."

"Mike Davidson loved being a New York City firefighter," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. "He loved the opportunity that gave him to help others on every tour."

Davidson's casket departed his funeral as it had arrived: on a firetruck adorned with his name and black-and-purple bunting. Throngs of white-gloved firefighters in dress uniform stood at attention along Fifth Avenue.

The father of four was overcome by smoke early Friday while fighting a fire on a movie set in Harlem. A movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed there.

Captain Daniel Kudlak and firefighters who worked with Davidson at Engine Company 69 Ladder 28 in Harlem paid their respects at a viewing at the funeral home Monday evening. Kudlak said he and Davidson were more than colleagues—they were close friends and their fathers worked at the same firehouse.

Davidson is survived by his wife and their four children between 1 and 7. Kudlak said Davidson loved his family and was devoted to them.

The FDNY posthumously promoted Davidson to lieutenant.

With the AP