Fires can escalate quickly, especially when they are in a building with plenty of accelerants. While evacuating residents is the priority, it can also present potential hazards for firefighters.
Saving the Residents
As a fire raged in the Evergreen Court Home for Adults, one firefighter went inside to search for a missing resident. The firefighter was up on the third floor of the building when fire conditions became unbearable.
He called for help from his fellow firefighters. According to Rockland County Fire coordinator Chris Kear, a group of firefighters attempted to reach him, but they could not. Flames were surrounding them, and they had to get out.
“The extent of the fire, the volume of fire, the conditions, were just too unbearable where firefighters went in it, and they just could not locate the firefighter, and they had to back out.”Chris Lear
Missing Firefighter and Resident
The firefighter, later identified as Jared Lloyd, was initially declared missing. Crews were hopeful that they could find him in the debris.
The roof of the building has partially collapsed, leaving firefighters to sift through layers of rubble. Crews brought in a mini excavator to assist in the process.
During a news conference, Kear said, "We've got to start pulling it back and peeling it layer by layer, and hopefully he'll be recovered."
The fire happened in the morning, leaving crews working throughout the day and all evening searching for their missing coworker. His remains were discovered early the following morning.
Lloyd was with the department for 15 years and left behind two small boys. The resident he had been searching for was later found uninjured.
The cause of this horrific fire has yet to be determined. Residents were bussed to another care facility, while those injured are being cared for in a nearby hospital.
A resident died from their injuries, and 20 others are still recovering. Two additional firefighters went to the hospital with injuries. One has since been released, and the other is still recovering at the hospital.
Neighboring firehouses and police departments have shown their support for Lloyd, even organizing a drive-up birthday for his 6-year-old son.
While firefighters know it is a possibility that they will enter a building and not come out, it is a possibility they hope will never actually happen. Lloyd gave his life trying to help another keep theirs.