In Memory



SFF Walter P. Harris

Walt Harris - 1970-2008


Detroit Firehouse is dedicated to the memory of Senior Firefighter Walter Harris (E-23), who was killed on November 15, 2008, while fighting fire in a vacant dwelling.

“It breaks your heart. Breaks your heart… I’m sure every guy here would say the same thing. It breaks your heart.” – Walt Harris speaking to The Detroit News earlier in 2008


Walter P. Harris was born September 11, 1970 to Walter and Minnie Harris. He has one sister, Sonya (Carmichael) and one brother, Sylvester aka Leman (Dona).  He was raised on the Eastside of Detroit.  Walter attended East Bethlehem Lutheran School, De La Salle High School (1989), and University of Detroit.  It was his lifelong dream to become a public servant. When given the opportunity, he decided to join the Detroit Fire Academy in 1991. Walter married his elementary school sweetheart, Syri, on February 14, 1993.  They have 6 beautiful sons: James (India), Robert, Patrick, Caleb, Walter, and Christian. They also have 2 grandchildren: Mariyon and SaVanna.  Walter was ordained an Elder, was a Fire Dept. Chaplain, an avid motorcyclist and a gun and self defense expert.  He was a faithful family man and genuine friend to many.  To know him was to love him. On November 15, 2008 (after serving the citizens of Detroit for 17 years and only a couple weeks from making Sergeant), Walter lost his life while bravely battling a fire in one of the cities numerous abandoned homes.  The fire was intentionally set, allegedly to collect insurance money.

  1. […] In memory of SFF Walter Harris 1970-2008 /* stLight.options({ publisher:'bcec3b3d-5711-4adf-944e-617b30f235d6' }); […]

  2. Sonya says:

    To all the Firefighters in Detroit who continue to hail the memory of my brother. He loved his GOD given purpose and his firefighter family to the very end. Thank you so much for preserving his legacy and continuing to show your love.

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