After graduating from Farrell, where he excelled on the track team, Marty attended John Jay College and joined the New York City Fire Department shortly after and was assigned to Ladder Company 18 in Manhattan’s lower east side.
On July 2, 1977 Marty, who was working in Ladder 15 for the day, responded to a fire in a warehouse. After Marty and his company entered the burning building, the arsonist who had started the original fire set an additional fire on the second floor, trapping Marty and the rest of the firemen in the blazing structure.
Blinded by thick smoke and with heavy equipment on his back, Marty attempted to escape, but missed the bucket of the tower ladder and fell 70 feet to the ground. He succumbed to his injuries eight days later on July 10, 1977 at the age of twenty-five.
For his bravery, Marty was posthumously awarded the Fire Department Medal of Valor, as well as the Medal of Supreme Sacrifice, and was honored as Fireman of the Year by the Crime Victims’ Rights Organization.
His former company, Ladder 18, established the Martin Celic Scholarship Fund, which awards a yearly scholarship to a junior at Farrell who combines academic achievement with excellence in track. The Marty Celic Four-Mile Run was held annually in Clove Lakes Park to raise money for the fund. Since Sept. 11, 2001 the race has been renamed the Celic Run, to include Marty’s brother Tom, who died in the World Trade Center attack.