New Haven Firefighter Ricardo Torres Jr. Sacrifices His Life For Others

Firefighters routinely run into buildings to save residents. Even with their fire gear, experience, and training, they can become disoriented and lost in flames and smoke.

Some firefighter get to the point, where they need to be rescued themselves, while others never make it back out.

New Haven Fire

New Haven Firefighters responded to a fire call at a home early Wednesday morning. When they arrived, the home was engulfed in flames.

They were told that there was a woman trapped inside the residence. Two firefighters went inside to save her.

According to WFSB, once the woman was out of the building, they received a mayday call from one of the firefighters still inside.

Rescuing Their Own

Chief John Alston said, "One firefighter reported being lost and disorientated. We activated our search and rescue team to find them. Turned out, it was two of them."

The firemen, Lt. Samod Rankins and Ricardo Torres Jr., were both unconscious by the time firefighter reached them. Torres died due to the fire, while Rankins was taken to the hospital with critical respiratory injuries.

Two additional firefighters went to the hospital with minor injuries. As a result of the tragic turn of events, many of the on-scene firefighters were very upset.

"This is a very difficult time for our department. Many of our members are hurting. We ask the public [for] their prayers."

Chief Alston

Firefighters and investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze.

Community Outpouring

In July, Torres would have been with New Haven Fire Department for two years. Mayor Justin Elicker offered his condolences.

Elicker said, "To lose someone who is truly a hero who went into harm's way to ensure the safety of others, this is something that will impact us for months and years to come."

In addition, Alston talked about how he wants Torres to be remembered saying, "I want them to remember that since he was a child, he wanted to be a firefighter. I want him to be remembered doing what he loved to do and that he sacrifice his life-saving someone else."

Torres leaves behind his pregnant wife and a child.

Making a Difference

Torres cared about people and about doing his job well. He died living his childhood dream of being a firefighter and helping to keep an older woman safe.

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