FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA DEDICATE MEMORIAL PLAQUE IN HONOR OF LIEUTENANT JOHN H. MARTINSON
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today joined colleagues, family members, and friends of Fire Department Lieutenant John H. Martinson to honor his memory at a plaque dedication ceremony at Engine Company 249/Ladder Company 113 in Brooklyn. On January 3, 2008, Lieutenant Martinson was fatally injured while battling a second-alarm fire at a Crown Heights apartment building. Lieutenant Martinson, 40, of Engine Company 249, was a 14-year veteran of the Department.
"It's up to us to cherish John's memory and make sure that when his kids grow up they will know the hero that was their father," said Mayor Bloomberg. "There is no question: Lieutenant John Martinson was among the bravest of the bravest. And from now on, anyone who walks by this plaque will know it as well."
"While the holidays are a time for celebration, today is a difficult occasion," said Commissioner Scoppetta. "But it is still a celebration - a celebration of the life of a true hero, Lieutenant John H. Martinson, who we lost a year ago. His was a life dedicated to helping and protecting others. For John, I believe, nothing was more satisfying than knowing he had done his part to make the world a better place. That makes it all the more difficult to understand why someone like John would be taken from us."
On Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 7:18 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire on the 14th floor of the Ebbets Field Apartments, at 1700 Bedford Avenue. Engine 249 and Ladder 113 were the first companies to arrive on the scene of the second-alarm blaze. Martinson was in the first group of firefighters to rush into the burning building. He was found unconscious just a few steps into a burning apartment a short time later. He was transported to Kings County Hospital, but did not survive his injuries.
A resident of Staten Island, Lieutenant Martinson was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in December 2002. He previously spent four years with the NYPD. He is survived by his wife, Jessica; two children, John Patrick, 2, and Katherine Grace, who is seven months old; his mother, Iris; a sister, Lori Tanzi; and a brother, Steven.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire)