FDNY's Michael Davidson recalled as natural leader at funeral

From his first days with the FDNY in 2003, following in his father’s footsteps, Lt. Michael Davidson stood out as a leader.

“Many nights Mike led his company into the fire, toward the danger, using his remarkable abilities and talents to extinguish the fire,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro at a Tuesday funeral for Davidson.

“It was clear from the beginning of his career that he was special. He showed it every day of his 15 years of brave service.”

Family, friends and fellow firefighters packed St. Patrick’s Cathedral for a heartbreaking funeral honoring Davidson five days after his death in a raging Harlem fire.

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New York City firefighter Michael Davidson's funeral
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New York City firefighter Michael Davidson's funeral
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Eileen Davidson, wife of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, holds her daughter Emily, 3, as firefighters carry the casket of the late New York City firefighter Michael Davidson out of St. Patrick's Cathedral following Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Police stand guard during the funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson as it moves down 5th Ave. on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: The funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson moves down 5th Ave. on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters gether up an American Flag after the funeral for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: The funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson moves down 5th Ave. on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: The funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson moves down 5th Ave. on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters gather before the start of the funeral service for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, on Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: The funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson passes under an American flag on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: (L to R) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with actor Steve Buscemi at the conclusion of the funeral for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters salute at the conclusion of the funeral for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters gather before the start of the funeral service for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, on Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: New York City firefighters join firefighters from around the country as they gather in Manhattan for the funeral for New York City firefighter Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Members of the motorcycle group Fire Riders pause for the funeral procession for New York City firefighter Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Cardinal Timothy Dolan looks on as firefighters carry the casket of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson into St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Members of the Fire Riders motorcycle club join other firefighters from around the country for the funeral for New York City firefighter Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters from around the country pause for the funeral procession for New York City firefighter Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Members of the fire department watch the funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes snd Drums watch the funeral procession for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio arrives for the funeral service for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, on Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters from around the country gather in Manhattan for the funeral for New York City firefighter Michael Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral on March 27, 2018 in New York City. The 15-year FDNY veteran died early last Friday from smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the basement of a Harlem building where a movie starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin was being filmed. Davidson leaves behind a wife and four young children. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Eileen Davidson (R), wife of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, looks on as the casket of Davidson arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: A procession with a fire truck carrying the casket of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson makes its way down Fifth Avenue toward St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: A procession with a fire truck carrying the casket of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson makes its way down Fifth Avenue toward St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Firefighters gather before the start of the funeral service for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, on Fifth Avenue outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: A procession with a fire truck carrying the casket of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson makes its way down Fifth Avenue toward St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Eileen Davidson, wife of the late New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson, is escorted by firefighters as she arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral for Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Family members arrive at St. Patrick's Cathedral for New York City firefighter Lt. Michael Davidson's funeral service, March 27, 2018 in New York City. Davidson, 15-year FDNY veteran and father of four young children, was killed battling a fire in Harlem last week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Eileen Davidson is embraced by her daughter Emily as they watch the casket with her husband, New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson, as it's carried away from St. Patrick's Cathedral following the funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Firefighter holds a program paper during the funeral for fallen New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Davidson in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Firefighters take part in the funeral for fallen New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Davidson in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
The casket of New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson is secured to a fire truck before being driven down 5th Avenue, away from St. Patrick's Cathedral following Davidson's funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Children embrace outside St. Patrick's Cathedral during funeral ceremonies for New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The casket with New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson is carried from St. Patrick's Cathedral following his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Firefighters take part in the funeral for fallen New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Davidson in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Firefighters take part in the funeral for fallen New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael Davidson in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
A fire truck with the casket carrying New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral for his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A fire truck with the casket carrying New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral for his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The New York City Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums march down 5th Avenue during funeral ceremonies for New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The casket with New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson is carried to St. Patrick's Cathedral for his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The casket with New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson is carried into St. Patrick's Cathedral for his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The casket with New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Michael R. Davidson is carried to St. Patrick's Cathedral for his funeral in Manhattan in New York City, U.S, March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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The firefighting veteran was remembered as a hero, a devoted dad and husband, and a role model taken too soon.

“A son, a brother, a friend, a loyal, tender, loving husband to (widow) Eileen and their four children,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan in his moving eulogy.

“A son-in-law, a neighbor, a parishioner and firefighter — whose blood contained the very DNA of the FDNY, whose service as a fireman was a vocation, hardly a job. A man whose name radiates goodness, valor and virtue as sparkling as the badge he wears.”

Eileen Davidson, accompanied by her children and her firefighter father-in-law, sat a few feet away from her husband’s casket during the lengthy service inside the venerable cathedral.

“He was an amazing husband and amazing father, and his memory will live on forever through his beautiful children,” said his brother, fellow firefighter Erik Davidson.

A purple-bordered black and white photo of Davidson in his FDNY outfit stood near the altar.

Davidson, 37, was killed last Thursday night while battling a five-alarm fire inside the basement of a Harlem apartment building. He leaves behind a widow and four kids, the oldest just age 7.

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New York firefighter killed on movie set
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New York firefighter killed on movie set

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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Davidson, at the nozzle end of a firehose, was the first firefighter inside — and became lost on the way out of the smoky inferno. The FDNY veteran died of smoke inhalation.

“I have to admit, never did I meet this hero,” said Dolan said. “But now I along with this entire teeming metropolis feel that I know him very, very well.”

Firefighters in their dress blues, white hats and gloves lined Fifth Ave. for at far as the eye could see on a warm March morning.

The mayor and commissioner stood next to hundreds of firefighters awaiting the Davidson family. Hundreds of cops rode by in motorcycles ahead of them.

A large screen welcomed mourners to St. Patrick's, showing Davidson in uniform with the words “Michael Davidson, Rest in Peace, March 23, 2018.”

His flag-draped casket arrived at the church atop an FDNY truck as bagpipers played “Amazing Grace.”

Calvin Hunt, 56, and his son, Cameron Hunt, 10, stood outside behind barricades where onlookers carried signs with Davidson’s picture and the words “God Bless The Bravest.”

“He will be greatly missed,” said the elder Hunt. “We live a few blocks away from the firehouse. He would host block parties every year. He was like a teenager.

"He gave his life for us. We will never forget. He will be greatly missed. We will still have the block party, but we will have a moment of silence for him."

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