Man killed in Elmhurst house fire will receive military honors at funeral tomorrow

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A man who was tragically killed when a house fire broke out in Elmhurst last week will be buried with military honors.

Martin Devereux, 71, was in his home at 42-24 Ithaca St. with two other men when the fire broke out at about 10:28 p.m. on March 21. The FDNY found Devereux along with 55-year-old Craig Lott and another man unresponsive and unconscious.

Devereux was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to Congresswoman Grace Meng, Devereux’s cousin reached out to her office to seek military honors. He served in the Navy from 1963 to 1967 and his cousin was concerned that any documents related to his service would have been lost in the fire.

The Elmhurst resident also served in the Naval Reserves from 1967 to 1969.

Meng contacted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Personnel Records on Tuesday to acquire his military record and ensure that he was eligible for full military honors.

A spokesperson for Neufeld Funeral Home in Flushing, where Devereux’s service is taking place, said the funeral director was able to secure the full military honors in coordination with the Department of Defense’s Navy Honor Guard Office.

Acordding to his obituary, Devereux worked in the construction industry as a wire lather. He is survived by his siblings Maureen Fox, Eleanor, Frank and William Devereux and many nieces and nephews.

Devereux’s siblings and relatives will fly into Queens from across the country to attend his funeral, Meng said. Family and friends will gather at St. Bartholomew in Elmhurst at 10:45 a.m tomorrow and he will be buried at Mount St. Mary Cemetery in Flushing.

Military honors include an honor guard service and an American flag draped over the coffin of the fallen veteran.

“The fire that took the life of Martin Devereux was a terrible tragedy,” said Meng. “He bravely served our country and deserves this military honor for his service. I’m just glad that I was able to get the process started and obtain the records in time for the request to be made. We stand ready to provide any other assistance that is needed.”


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