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5-year-old boy writes touching letter after firefighter's death

Billy Huddleston said he wanted to cheer up the firefighters by telling jokes and bringing cookies

By FireRescue1 Staff

OWEGO, N.Y. — A 5-year-old boy who wrote a touching letter to N.Y. firefighters after the tragic loss of one of their own was invited to the firehouse to play and meet the crews.

Billy Huddleston wrote a letter in the days following the death of Capt. Matthew Porcari, 34, who was killed after the floor gave way while he was inside a burning home.

In the letter, Huddleston says he wanted to cheer the firefighters up by bringing them "cookies or eggs" and telling them jokes.

The Owego firefighters invited Huddleston to the station, creating the perfect playground for a 5-year-old.

"Every day it was 'Momma, when are we going to the fire station? When are we going to the fire station?'" Maria Huddleston told WBNG.

Lt. Lee Dunham, Firefighter Porcari's uncle, who works at the same department, said he was touched by Huddleston's 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 5-year-old kid to write that and be that interested in our fire department, especially Capt. Matt Porcari, it's just overwhelming," Dunham said.

Below is Huddleston's letter:


I love you guys because I really love your fire trucks. I am so sad your firefighter died and I love you guys. I'm 5 yrs old and when I grow up I'm gonna move into your fire station because I want to be a firefighter.
Is there anything I can give you to make you feel happy again, like cookies or eggs or visiting you to tell jokes. Maybe a blanket or a present.
I loved Captain Matthew Porcari. Call my Mom if you need me.
Billy Huddleston

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Millie Otto Millie Otto Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:48:27 AM As I read this story and the letter, I found myself crying. One for your loss, and secondly for the true feelings just a small 5 yr. Old can show, in such a well written letter!!! There should be more people in the world like him, and we would all be better off. He was so respectful, loving, caring and it just broke my heart for your loss, yet made me so proud that he looked up to all of you in such a caring way, worried about your whole dept. I find him amazing and wish there were more people (adults) like him in this world!!! Thank you for setting the bar high Billy!!!
Mizzy Zdroj Mizzy Zdroj Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:50:59 AM that little man right there is exactly why we do this. God rest the soul of Capt. Porcari. we will take it from here, Capttain.
Linda Fish Moorman Linda Fish Moorman Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:51:13 AM there are alot of adults who could take a hint from this caring child.
Beth Rutledge Beth Rutledge Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:10:40 PM What a sweetheart!
Diane Szlucha Diane Szlucha Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:11:30 PM The five year old writes from his heart with the only words he knows. He knows what cheers him up and he is happy to give any of that to make the firemen happy again. That is how we all should right. We should just let our heart speak. Sometimes we struggle when all we have to do is ask the Lord to let the words in our heart to flow out. God Bless Matt and keep him safe until we all see him again. God Bless Christina every day and help her through each one. God bless Matt's children and extended family members as they adjust to life without him. And Lord we praise you and thank you for the gift that Matt was.
Jerry Montgomery Jerry Montgomery Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:28:01 PM Grace and goodness sometimes comes to us in small packages.
Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:37:39 PM I look forward to the day that we can all call this boy one of our own. He will be a welcome addition to our brotherhood.
Becky Reed Becky Reed Wednesday, February 13, 2013 1:11:45 PM wow what a very touching letter from such a young man:)
April A Bright Watson April A Bright Watson Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:13:39 PM Brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet, caring little boy. God Bless his little heart. :)
Kevin W Cooper Kevin W Cooper Wednesday, February 13, 2013 4:42:44 PM Cool kid
Nancy Miller Nancy Miller Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:43:41 PM Out of the mouths of Babes....such a great little man! R.I.P. Capt. Porcari.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:02:49 PM "our job is both the greatest and the worst." Captain Matthew Porcari outgrew this world...
Shelby Bratcher Shelby Bratcher Thursday, February 14, 2013 3:45:33 AM Aww that is so sweet! That little boy will be welcomed to any fire station with open arms!
Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:04:24 AM It doesn't get any better than that, and that is right from the heart.RIP Capt.
Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:05:48 AM That says it all and straight from the heart.RIP Capt.
Sandy Strout-Whipkey Sandy Strout-Whipkey Thursday, February 14, 2013 5:49:32 AM this is very heart touching and thank you Southtrail Fire and Rescue for sharing this beautiful letter and story...
Justin Rogers Justin Rogers Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:09:42 AM my faith in humanity has been restored.
Glen Garland Glen Garland Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:45:25 AM He's got the concept of brotherhood down pat @ 5. He'd be welcome in my department anytime! Most adults should take a lesson from this young man!
Alan Barbeau Sr Alan Barbeau Sr Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:49:57 AM Maybe we could all learn something from this little boy I know I sure did
John Drady John Drady Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:41:06 AM What a wonderful little boy who obviously gets his sense of compassion from his parents and those around him. Thanks Billy!
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:50:20 AM If there was ever a doubt that someone cares about us then they need to read this and bring him something!
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:52:45 AM he has not been corrupted by materials and his heart should remain pure
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:58:25 AM Its only a matter of time, maybe one the next leaders in the fire service such as Allan Brunacini, Rick Lasky, John Sullivan, or John Salka
Brian Halwachs Brian Halwachs Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:05:10 PM I've done this job for 35 years, the bad far outweighs the good, but it's for kids like this that I and any of the brothers and sisters do this job. Kid, you ever want on the job, I'll give you a reference.
Robert Black Robert Black Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:31:48 PM Oh, the simple innocence of a child. Any of us would be proud to have this young lad visit our house. Can't wait till he's old enough to sign on. Sorry for your loss Brothers.
Trish Rickards Trish Rickards Friday, February 15, 2013 8:35:43 PM Everyone should learn from these kind words. Very touching!!
Juanita McFarland Juanita McFarland Sunday, March 03, 2013 2:27:18 PM This young boy could teach our adults a few humility, caring, and 'Have a Heart'!

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