Biloxi man gets priceless gift from NY firefighters

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The owner of Mary Mahoney's restaurant in Biloxi got a priceless gift Saturday evening from some New York firefighters who were in town delivering Christmas presents to those in need.

Bobby Mahoney is good friends with these firefighters who every year bring toys to the Gulf Coast. His friends learned over the years that Mahoney had never met his grandfather.

They did some digging for their friend and found some interesting news. Bobby's grandfather, Charles Mahoney, was a firefighter in Williamsport, PA. The intrigue did not stop there. They discovered that Charles Mahoney was the first firefighter in that town to die in the line of duty. He was killed fighting a fire in a theatre in 1927.

"We're overwhelmed by what they did for us, and like I say, they had one little article we was reading," said Mahoney.

"We all had tears in our eyes just reading about my daddy searching for his daddy."

Retired New York firefighter James Leonard said this gift is more valuable than any material thing they could have given their friend.

"There's not much to do to him to make him, you know, happy or something he hasn't seen or done or gotten so this is something that we thought would be different than giving him a fire department T-shirt or hat," said Leonard.

Mahoney said this is a gift his family will cherish forever.

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