Boy remorseful for blaze as hundreds mourn firefighter

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Hundreds of mourners paid their respects Monday at the wake of an FDNY firefighter who was killed in a blaze set by a child.

The mother of Emmanuel Watkin-Harris told the Daily News that her son has been crying since Thursday's fire at their Crown Heights apartment. The 6-year-old told her, "I didn't mean to do it."

Colleagues of Lt. John Martinson, of Engine 249, have said they forgive the boy. "This child didn't know anything and no one should hold anything against this child," said Lt. George Reese.

Authorities said no charges will be filed since the fire was an accident. Watkin-Harris set the blaze while playing with gift wrapping paper over a lit stove.

Monday was the second day of a wake for the 40-year-old veteran firefighter. Fellow firefighters, relatives and friends filed into a Staten Island funeral home to honor the husband and father.

"He shoveled my walk," said family friend Florence LaGress. "You could depend on him for anything."

Martinson's funeral will take place Tuesday at the Church of Saint Clare on Staten Island at 11 a.m.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

Related information:

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Residents are concerned about the safety of items 1 The Buzz: Safety concerns in wake of 8-year-old boy's death
Police say Michael Bantel was drunk when his 2 Massapequa man faces DWI charges in fatal crash
News 12 asked viewers what they thought about 3 Hudson Valley Talks Trump: First 100 days
In honor of National Superhero Day, News 12 4 Word on the Street: Superheroes
Kevin Reilly, 8, died after a heavy planter 5 Vigil remembers 8-year-old killed by fallen planter box

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.