BROOKLYN - A veteran FDNY firefighter who worked in Brooklyn drowned while trying to save his son from the cold waters of Lake Tahoe Monday.
Investigators say 41-year-old Martin Simmons, of Nesconset, N.Y., was on vacation with his family at Lake Tahoe when he dove after his 10-year-old son, Kevin, who developed a leg cramp while swimming. Simmons was able to reach his son, but had a hard time staying afloat.
According to reports, Simmons? brother-in-law then jumped in to try and rescue Simmons and Kevin.
By the time lifeguards arrived, they were only able to rescue Kevin and his uncle. An autopsy showed that Simmons drowned while trying to rescue his son.
An FDNY spokesman says Simmons was a 17-year veteran who worked at Ladder Company 111 on Hancock Street in Brooklyn for the past 15 years. He was on vacation at the time of his death.
Simmons' son was treated and released from the hospital following the incident.
The flag was half-mast at Ladder 111 Friday and bunting covered the house name as Simmons? fellow firefighters mourn the loss of a man they say truly was one of New York?s bravest. Firefighters from Nevada even accompanied Simmons? family back to New York to make sure they got home alright. ?We?ll do whatever we can to help the family and to help our brothers here in the FDNY,? Steve Alcom from the North lake Tahoe Fire Department says.
People who knew the firefighter say Simmons was a family man, devoted father and role model. ?When he came to the firehouse, that?s all he talked about was his family,? a firefighter who worked with Simmons says.
A wake for Simmons will be held Saturday and Sunday at Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown. His funeral will be held Monday at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Nesconset.
Simmons leaves behind a wife and three sons.