Emotional farewells at wake for New York firefighter who perished in five alarm blaze

Hundreds of mourners gathered Sunday to mourn the passing of a New York City firefighter who died last week while battling a massive Manhattan blaze.

A husband and father of four, Michael Davidson was killed Thursday when he became separated from his team in the basement of a Harlem building that had become engulfed by a five alarm fire.

So many mourners arrived to pay their respects, that the Floral Park, Long Island wake continued past the original 9 p.m. end time as the line remained wrapped around the block, CBS New York reported.

Each member of Davidson's family was greeted by salutes from his fellow firefighters.

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Lt. Michael Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and their four children; Brooke, age 7; Joseph, age 6; Emily, age 3; and Amy, age 1. 

(Photo via FDNY)

The site of a five-alarm fire in Harlem where a New York City firefighter died in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Avenue, which according to local media reports was being used as a filming location for a movie directed by Edward Norton, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: The New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks stand for a moment of silence for FDNY memeber Michael Davidson prior to their game at the Barclays Center on March 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The site of a five-alarm fire in Harlem where a New York City firefighter died in the basement of 773 St. Nicholas Avenue, which according to local media reports was being used as a filming location for a movie directed by Edward Norton, in Manhattan, New York, U.S., March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
It is with deep regret that FDNY announces the death of Firefighter Michael R. Davidson. Read more:… https://t.co/tKTY8q9HQG
Final salute. #FDNY lined up on overpasses above the LIE to salute #firefighter #MichaelDavidson who died in a fire… https://t.co/4ruXH61Jji

Lt. Michael Davidson made the Supreme Sacrifice on March 23, 2018, after suffering critical injuries sustained while fighting a 5-alarm fire in Harlem.

(Photo via FDNY)

He was a 15-year veteran of the Department and, on four different occasions, he was cited for bravery and life-saving actions. 

(Photo via FDNY)

He is the son of retired Firefighter Robert Davidson, who served the Department for 26 years (primarily in the same firehouse as his son); and the brother of Firefighter Eric Davidson, an 11-year veteran, of Engine Company 88 in the Bronx.

(Photo via FDNY)

Firefighter Pete Driscoll says, "Mike was the guy that the kids pointed out and said, 'I want to be a Firefighter.' I'm a 40-year-old Firefighter and I still say, I want to be like Mike when I grow up. All he wanted to do was help people. Everything he did, every part of being a Firefighter, he was good at. He was good at everything." 

(Photo via FDNY)

Firefighter Jim Horan says, "He wanted to be the best, and he was. But he also wanted everyone else around him to be the best, and he did everything he could to make them the best, as well. He loved to laugh. He loved to make other people laugh. I don't know anyone who would see him and not have a smile on their face immediately."

(Photo via FDNY)

Firefighters attending the wake for firefighter Michael Davidson walk past a large American flag in Floral Park, Ne… https://t.co/w0NiVnxpUp
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Rob Allen, the captain of Davidson's Harlem-based engine company, said people in the neighborhood have approached him to express their condolences for the man who could often be seen playing with children at neighborhood block parties. 

Engine Company 69 hung black and purple bunting in honor of Davidson on the firehouse. 

In addition to loved ones, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, 

"I brought a palm for Michael, for the casket because its Palm Sunday," Dolan said. "This week of all weeks when we think about the death and the cross and the one who said greater love than this no one has than to give his life for another. Jesus said that and now we got Michael is a living radiant example of that."

The New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund has promised to provide financial support for Davidson’s family, including his wife, Eileen. Donations can be made here.

Meanwhile, the cause of the blaze, which broke out in a set for upcoming film Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn, remains under investigation.

The fire broke out at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the basement of the building. 

It was empty when the blaze started, cops say. 

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