NEW YORK - The body of a firefighter missing in a Rockland County blaze at an assisted living facility that also took the life of a resident was discovered in the debris late Tuesday night, said local officials.
The remains believed to be that of Spring Valley Firefighter Jared Lloyd were escorted by fire trucks to the medical examiner's office. During a briefing Wednesday, Rockland County Fire Coordinator Chris Kear said the identity of the remains had not yet been confirmed.
"Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. "He searched as the building burned determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped," Day said. "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."
Video from the scene Tuesday at the 200-capacity Evergreen Court Home for Adults in Spring Valley shows the fire engulfing the building. 20- 30 residents had to be rescued. One of the residents was in critical condition, said Kear. There were 112 seniors living at the facility at the time of the fire.
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A portion of the large structure collapsed after the fire erupted on the first floor. It quickly spread to the other floors, added Kear.
Two firefighters were injured in the blaze including one firefighter who suffered smoke inhalation. The other firefighter was treated and released from a local hospital. Reports of a firefighter having suffered a heart attack were not accurate, said Kear. The resident who died was declared dead at the hospital. The identity had not yet been released.
Rescuers searched through rubble for the 15 year veteran who issued a mayday call while rescuing a resident from the third floor, said Kear. Other firefighters rushed to try to help their colleague but the flames were too intense.
"This is an extraordinarily difficult time for the fire services within Rockland County," Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann wrote in a Facebook post. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the bravest and the fellow firefighters of Spring Valley who lost a brother."
Dozens of firefighters remained on the scene battling pockets of flames. Excavators were brought to the area to help remove debris.
At the time, Kear said there was "always hope" that he would be found alive.
Video of some residents being evacuated by bus and taken to different locations was shared online as a means to help loved ones identify them.
Evergreen Court is located about 45 minutes from New York City.
Approximately 125 firefighters from many agencies worked to get the fire under control. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
With the Associated Press