Son follows in late father's footsteps, becomes DC firefighter

- The District of Columbia has 21 new firefighters and EMTs after they graduated from the department's Cadet Program. One of the graduates is following the footsteps of two family members who made the ultimate sacrifice to save others.

“Firefighting has been part of my life since before I can remember,” said Davon McRae.

His father, Lt. Kevin McRae, began his career with the D.C. Fire and EMS Department back in 1989. He tragically died in the line of duty two years ago while battling a Northwest D.C. high-rise apartment fire on 7th Street.

“I used to think when I first started that I got some shoes to fill – I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, I’m going to be just like my father,” said Davon. “But I was wrong. I’m going to be me. He was Kevin McRae. I’m Davon McRae. I’m going to make him proud being Davon McRae.”

After his father’s death, McRae could always count on his father’s fellow firefighters.

“The D.C. Fire Department is like a big family,” said Davon. “When my father passed, it's like the whole department, anything I needed, they were there for me. It's a brotherhood. Some females too, so it's more like a family. We have our ups and downs, arguing here and there, but when it is time to do what we got to do, we are sticking together.”

Davon’s cousin, Technician James McRae III, also died in the line of duty in 2007. Davon will begin his firefighting career on the 10th anniversary of his cousin’s death.

As he begins, he will be starting on familiar ground. Davon has been assigned to the Engine Company 6, the same firehouse his father was assigned to.

“It's the last house he was in, so it's home,” he said. “Everybody welcomed me with open arms at this firehouse.”

Davon is now the father of an 11-month-old son. Even though he followed in his father’s footsteps, Davon said he will not force his son to become a firefighter.

“At the end of the day, it's his life,” said Davon. “Hopefully he is going to choose the right direction.”

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