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FDNY honors fallen firefighter

The FDNY dedicated a plaque in memory of Michael Davidson, a 15-year veteran firefighter and Floral Park father of four who died a year ago while battling a fire beneath a shuttered jazz club in Harlem. 

The FDNY on Saturday honored Michael Davidson --

The FDNY on Saturday honored Michael Davidson -- a 15-year veteran firefighter and a Floral Park father of four young children -- who died a year ago fighting a fire in Harlem. Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

The FDNY on Saturday honored Michael Davidson — a 15-year veteran firefighter and a Floral Park father of four young children — who died a year ago after a fire beneath a shuttered jazz club being used for an Edward Norton movie.

At Saturday's ceremony inside his Harlem firehouse, hundreds of firefighters saluted Davidson and his family, including his retired firefighter dad, firefighter brother, four young children and widow, as the department dedicated a plaque in his memory.

“Today, we make Mike a permanent part of the history of this city,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said, adding: “We are saying that his name must be remembered — that to understand this place, we also have to know who he was.”

De Blasio then turned to Davidson's parents: “Thank you for raising a hero.”

Davidson, 37, was assigned to be the nozzle man the night of the fire, exactly a year ago, in the cellar of 773 St. Nicholas Ave., with Harlem’s Engine Company 69.

Holding the nozzle to direct the stream of water is the firefighting job closest to the blaze — and the danger. 

He was not able to escape after being called to retreat because the situation was too dangerous. Fellow firefighters soon realized Davidson was missing, went back in and found him unconscious.

On Saturday, a banner with his photograph hung inside the firehouse, along with his jacket, a nozzle and a cross. Davidson was posthumously promoted to lieutenant.

His wife, Eileen, fought back tears as she described the hole left in her family's life by the death of her husband — whom she met at 21 when she was stricken with cancer and bald from chemotherapy.

“He would sit with me when I was too sick to move,” she said, adding: “He would make me laugh when I wanted to cry. And he would make me feel beautiful when I was terrified to look at my own reflection.”

She recalled family dance parties, Christmases and barbecues and home renovations and her husband dressing up as Spider-Man and boosting neighborhood kids up onto the rig and cheering when they blasted the horn.

“Heaven needed a hero," she told her own children Saturday through tears. “Your daddy was called to do greater jobs in heaven than he could do here on Earth.”

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