WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Fallen firefighter Peyton Morse returned home to the North Country on Monday.

Morse passed away on March 12 after suffering a medical emergency at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls. Morse was an assistant fire chief at the LaFargeville Fire Department and training to become a firefighter with the City of Watertown. 

Following the incident, he was then rushed to a local hospital, where he regained a heartbeat and then airlifted to Guthrie Robert Packet Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania. Morse remained in the Intensive Care Unit with his wife and family beside him.

To honor his life on March 15, members from the City of Watertown Fire Department, local and state law enforcement and community members lined up on the streets of Watertown, New York as the body of Peyton Morse was transported from Binghamton.

Calling hours for Morse will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Clayton, New York. Funeral services will take place the following day on March 19 at 11 a.m., also at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

Those wishing to send flowers or donations have been directed to send them to the following:

Watertown Firefighters Benevolent Association/Peyton Morse Fund
Watertown Savings Bank
111 Clinton Street, Watertown, NY 1601.


WFD Station 1/ Watertown Firefighters Benevolent Associations/ Peyton Morse in the memo link
224 South Massey Street, Watertown, NY 13601.

On Monday 18 News received the following comment from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the State Fire Administrator:

The New York State Academy of Fire Science puts the safety and security of its recruits above all else. Academy staff continually reviews all training procedures and activities to ensure recruit safety. The Academy remains operational. Thirty-five recruits began their 11-week training program on Saturday, March 13. The training prop utilized just prior to the medical emergency involving firefighter Peyton Morse has been removed from service. The incident remains under investigation by the New York State Police.

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

“I am saddened at the passing of firefighter Peyton Morse of the Watertown Fire Department.  On behalf of the men and women of the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, I express our deepest condolences.  Our thoughts remain with his family, friends, and the members of the Watertown Fire Department.”

State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney

18 News asked U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand about Morse’s passing and the State Police investigation, but she was unable to comment.