SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) — A volunteer firefighter who died while trying to rescue residents of an assisted living home in suburban New York that was engulfed in flames was identified Wednesday as a 35-year-old father of two young boys.
Jared Lloyd was last heard from when he issued a mayday call early Tuesday from Evergreen Court Home for Adults in the Rockland County community of Spring Valley. He did not make it out of the building as it collapsed. The fire also killed a male resident, who was not identified.
“Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others. He searched as the building burned determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said at a news conference. “His loss is devastating. There is no other way to put it. But I will tell you this: his loss and his heroism will never be forgotten.”
A body was recovered from the debris just before midnight Tuesday, and one local official said it belonged to the fallen firefighter. But Chris Kear, Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services director, said officials did not yet have confirmation.
Lloyd was the father of two boys: Darius, 5, and Logan, who turned 6 Wednesday, the firefighter’s father told the Journal News.
“That’s what hurts me so much, that those boys are going to miss him. They loved him so much. They loved him as much as I loved him,” said Calvin Lloyd.
The recovery effort was hampered Tuesday by the intense heat of the smoldering wreckage.
Crews were still at the scene Wednesday morning putting out hot spots and securing the structure while an investigation into the cause continued.
Thirteen residents were taken to hospitals, and one was in critical condition, Kear said. Two other firefighters were injured. One was released from the hospital and the other was kept overnight due to high carbon monoxide levels.
The home, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of New York City, housed 112 residents, according to its operator. Parts of the home were three stories high, and Kear said some residents were trapped on floors above the fire.
The operators of the home said in a statement Tuesday that all the survivors had been accounted for and would be placed in a new home.
“This is an unspeakable tragedy at Evergreen Court Home and our hearts and prayers go out to all individuals and families who have been impacted,” the statement read.
Lloyd was among more than 100 volunteer firefighters from departments around the region who responded and worked to shepherd the residents to safety, officials said.
Kear said the investigation into the cause could take some time.
“There’s tons of debris there,” he said “It’s very time consuming and meticulous to go through. And it really has to be thoroughly looked at piece by piece.”