Firefighter dies in the line of duty

January 3, 2008 8:34:22 PM PST
One firefighter has died and another was badly injured while trying to put out a fire in Brooklyn on Thursday night. The fire broke out in a high-rise apartment building in the Crown Heights section.

Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan has the story from Kings County Hospital where the firefighter died.

John Martinson did what heroes do. There was a building in flames and lives to be saved so he marched through a wall of fire to save other people. Now this husband, father and 18-year veteran of the city is dead.

Medics worked hard to save Martinson outside the Crown Heights apartment building where the fire started and brought him to Kings County Hospital.

Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta rushed to the scene to comfort the family of a man who gave his life for the city.

"Lieutenant Martinson gave this city 18 years and ultimately his life. He gave everything he had and his death really does break the hearts of all of us. His courage ... reminds us of how lucky we are to have heroes who go to work every day to keep the rest of us safe and I ask all New Yorkers to keep him in our prayers in the days to come," Mayor Bloomberg said.

Mayor Bloomberg spoke with Martinson's widow. He said she is mostly concerned about the couple's two-year-old son.