BY TIMOTHY BOLGER AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
Arrangements have been finalized for the funeral of a New York City firefighter and Queens native who was killed while battling a five-alarm blaze in Manhattan on Thursday night, officials said.
Michael R. Davidson of Engine Company 69, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, died after suffering critical injuries after being separated from colleagues while operating the hoseline to fight a fire in the basement of a five-story building on Nicholas Avenue in Harlem around 11 p.m. on March 22, officials said. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he died early Friday morning.
Davidson’s immediate and extended families will hold his wake on Sunday and Monday, March 25 and 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. both days at Thomas F. Dalton’s Funeral Home in Davidson’s home town of Floral Park. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday morning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
“Firefighter Davidson bravely battled many fires and responded to countless calls for help from New Yorkers throughout his 15 years of dedicated service,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Our department and our entire city mourn this tragic loss of a very brave Firefighter.”
Davidson, who was appointed as a firefighter in May 2003, was cited for bravery and life-saving actions on four different occasions. He is the 1,150th FDNY member to die in the line-of-duty.
He was a graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood. The school released a statement via Facebook on Friday mourning his loss: “Archbishop Molloy High School is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Firefighter Michael R. Davidson last night while battling a five-alarm fire in Harlem. Michael was a Stanner from the Class of 1999 … Please keep Michael and his family in your prayers during this very difficult time.”
School officials said that Davidson previously lived in Sunnyside and was an active member of the Molloy community; he was a volunteer at school open houses and a member of the Stanner Golf Team.
Davidson’s death comes eight days after Lt. Christopher J. Raguso and Fire Marshal Christopher T. “Tripp” Zanetis, two of four members of the Westhampton Beach-based 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard, were killed in an American military helicopter crash in Iraq.
Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and their four children; three daughters, ages 7, 3, and 1 and a son, age 6. He is the son of retired FDNY firefighter Robert Davidson, who served for 26 years, mostly in the same firehouse as his son, and the brother of FDNY firefighter Eric Davidson, an 11-year veteran, of Engine Company 88 in the Bronx.
On Saturday, Nigro and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Michael Davidson would be posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Davidson had passed the FDNY lieutenant’s in exam, and had been on the list for promotion to the rank at the time of his death.