Thousands Travel to Honor Porcari (With Photos)

By Lorne Fultonberg

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) If there was ever a funeral procession of epic proportions, it was the one for Owego Fire Capt., Matthew Porcari.

An estimated 3,000 firefighters in 80 fire trucks descended on Owego Sunday to pay their final respects to Porcari.

Porcari died Monday night while fighting a fire in Newark Valley after a floor collapsed.

"It makes us realize how vulnerable we are and how this can happen," said Thomas King, Assistant Fire Chief of the Candor Fire District.

Firefighters traveled from all over the United States, some from Canada, to pay tribute to the fallen firefighter, compelled by a sense of family and brotherhood.

"It doesn't matter where you're from, across the world everybody knows what fire departments are all about, what ambulances are all about and we all come together to help each other as much as humanly possible," said Bob Russell, Squad Captain of the Nichols Fire Department.

"We're all kindred," said Thomas Lobdell, Chief of the Etna Fire Department." We all know what everybody goes through. So when something like this happens, it hits home."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.