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Heroic soldier, 28, died saving four people in massive NYC apartment fire

New York Army National Guard Pvt. 1st Class Emmanuel Mensah died during a fire in an apartment building in the Bronx, New York City on Dec. 28, 2017. (New York Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion)
January 03, 2018

A New York Army National Guard soldier died rescuing four people in a Bronx apartment fire on Dec. 28. The soldier rescued people on three occasions before heading back into the fire, but he did not come out one more time, the Army said Wednesday.

Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah, 28, went into the apartment building at 2363 Prospect Avenue at least three times to save residents in the building, detectives assigned to the New York Police Department’s 48th Precinct reported

The fire, which was started by child playing with a kitchen stove, claimed the lives of 12 people, including Mensah.

Mensah lived in the building and had just come home from military training in Virginia, the Army said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commended Mensah in a Twitter post.

“Private Emmanuel Mensah was a first generation immigrant, a soldier, and a New Yorker. He gave his life rescuing his neighbors in the Bronx fire. His heroism exemplifies the best of our city. Rest in peace,” de Blasio said.

Bill de Blasio (Twitter)

According to statements given to Army National Guard officials, Mensah’s remains were found in a location where they believe he was still trying to rescue people.

Mensah enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in December 2016 and had recently completed his Advanced Individual Training to serve as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.

He was to begin drilling with the New York Army National Guard’s 107th Military Police Company this month.