Matt Porcari: Community remembers fallen firefighter one year later

By Perry Russom

January 22, 2014 Updated Jan 22, 2014 at 1:11 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Tuesday marked exactly one year since Owego Fire Capt. Matthew Porcari died while fighting a raging blaze in Newark Valley.

His family and friends honored his ultimate sacrifice to the community.

The flag outside of Owego Fire Station No. 2 was lowered to half staff Tuesday night in memory of Porcari.

"I've been struggling this year," said Owego Lt. Lee Dunham, Porcari's uncle who was with him the night he died. "Everyday I think about him and I spend a lot of time at the Station 3 talking to him and making myself feel at ease."

Porcari's death echoed throughout the firefighting community.

"He was a very good firefighter," said Scott Gurney, chief of the Owego Fire Department. "Willing to learn, eager. Not afraid to lend a hand to anybody."

Last year, nearly 3,000 firefighters made the trip to Owego for his funeral.

In June, he was honored in the Owego-Apalachin Wall of Fame.

"His enthusiasm was that we have a commitment to the community and a commitment to each other," said Village Trustee Earl Hartman.

At the ceremony Tuesday night, a wreath was laid by Porcari's son and daughter.

His mother lit a candle in his memory in front of the Fireman's Fountain.

"I miss him a lot, because now, I don't have a father and I miss him a lot," said Tierney Walter, Porcari's daughter.

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