Young boy's dream far from extinguished as fallen firefighter is remembered
2/12/2013 (Updated 11:44:14 PM)OWEGO -- Last month Owego firefighter Matt Porcari tragically lost his life when he fell through the floor while trying to put out a fire in a Newark Valley home. The 34 year old's story touched the lives of many including one young boy who wanted to do something to help heal the heartbreak.
Today five year old Billy Huddleston was very excited to tour the Owego fire house today because it was a taste of his dream.
Mom Maria Huddleston said, "He wants to be a firefighter. Always has, always will."
But the reason why Billy visited the Owego Fire Department today is not all fun and games. When he heard about the death of captain Matt Porcari last month, "He just looked at me and said Momma that makes my heart sad."
So Billy colored a picture of a firefighter, which he gave to Porcari's widow today. He also sent a letter to the department.
Lt. Lee Dunham described the letter, "It brought tears to my eyes when I read how he wanted to come and bring us cookies or eggs or come and tell jokes. For a five year old kid to write that it's just overwhelming."
Fire Chief Ed Frenz added, "He showed a significant interest in Captain Porcari and the tragic situation we went through here in the department. It really touched our hearts.'
The initiative did not go unnoticed by Billy's parents. Maria talked about how she felt when Billy wrote the letter, "It was very sweet. Very kind. It brings up a lot of emotions but most of all just proud."
As a thank you to Billy, the Owego fire department invited him to stop by. The little boy with the big heart was thrilled.
He learned all about pumper trucks, got to hear the sirens, and learned a bit about fire safety as he tried on helmets and smoke protectors. Billy shared his favorite part about the day, "The smoky, breathing thing."
It is certainly a day that Billy will never forget, and it was carried out in loving memory of a hero.
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