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 while the Rockland County Executive named Lloyd as the victim.
"Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others," said Ed Day. "He searched as the building burned determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped. 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. One resident was in critical condition at a local hospital.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!
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. A male 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. The operators of the home said in a statement Wednesday 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 to the scene and worked to shepherd the residents to safety, officials said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
With the Associated Press