Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - A small memorial service was held today for the homeless man who died in a fire beneath a highway interchange in the city of Syracuse last week.
40-year-old Timothy Wilkin was living in a camp with several other people beneath the I-690 and I-81 interchange, the same place he died after a fire grew out of control. He was honored on Friday at St. James Church in Syracuse.
Wilkin's friends and family gathered to celebrate his memory and to mourn his loss.
“One of the hardest things as a mother is to let your kids make the wrong choices,” said his mother Mary Jane Wilkin. During the past eight months, she watched her son travel down a difficult path living on Syracuse’s streets.
“Seeing all these people here, makes me want to cry...it's a happy cry because a lot of people do care, and it's beautiful,” said Tim's Friend Jay Patana.
Today's service also raised awareness about a whole community that lives under bridges and alongside major roads in the city of Syracuse -- places that many drive by every day.
"We get so caught up in going where we're going and being where we have to be that we sometimes just don't see some of the things happening around us” said Father John Manno.
Fire investigators say the fire was an accident. Wilkin died of smoke inhalation.