Fallen firefighter honored

January 3, 2009 4:33:44 PM PST
He died exactly one year ago. City leaders today honored John Martinson, a 40-year-old lieutenant with the FDNY -- whose heroism on January 3, 2008 saved the lives of four other firefighters."Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that 1:37:23 pm Martinson never got a chance to meet his baby daughter Katherine...see John Patrick grow up."

To his family and friends he was "Johnny Nice Guy."

40-year old lieutenant John Martinson who died a year ago battling a blaze was honored today by loved ones at a plaque dedication ceremony at Engine Co. 249.

"So at the dawn of this New Year's let's make a resolution. To cherish the memories and make sure that John-Patrick and Katherine grace grow up they will know their father was a hero," said Mayor Bloomberg.

Lt. Martinson spent 14-years of his life battling fires, following in his dad's footsteps. Before that he was a police officer. His wife Jessica, their son and baby daughter were among family members at the ceremony.

"On Fridays when he would work at the firehouse he would drive from my mother's house to his mother's house to take her garbage out. I would laugh and call him a 'mama's boy', but make no mistakes about, I hope and pray John-Patrick will be that same mama's boy," Martinson's wife Jessica said.

Lt. Martinson died on January 3rd, 2008. His final moments were on the scene of a two-alarm blaze at the Ebbets Field apartments.

Martinson led the first group of firefighters into the smoke filled building and then up to the 14-th floor to battle the blaze.

He died while making sure the four fighters under his command escaped the building safely.

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