BROOKLYN - A veteran firefighter is dead after battling a fire at a Brooklyn apartment. Lt. John H. Martinson was killed in the blaze Thursday at a 25-story building at the Ebbets Field Houses complex on Bedford Avenue. Mayor Bloomberg called the 40-year-old firefighter "a hero who put his life on the line" to keep everyone safe.

Officials say Martinson was found unconscious about 10 feet into the apartment. He was later pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital. Officials say that he died of smoke inhalation and burns.Fire officials say more than 100 firefighters were needed to fight the blaze. They say that a young boy started the fire when he tried to hide a burning package underneath his bed.Martinson is survived by his pregnant wife and their 1-year-old son.He is the first city firefighter to die in the line of duty in 2008.