An Army soldier who was home for the holidays sacrificed his life on Thursday while heroically trying to save people who were trapped inside of a burning New York City apartment building.
Emmanuel Mensah, 28, made the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow man, his father, Kwabena Mensah, told The New York Post.
“That’s his nature. He was trying to help people out from the fire, and unfortunately he lost his life,” Mensah said of his son. “He tried to do his best.”
Emmanuel, who recently finished basic training in Georgia and dreamed of becoming a military policeman, immigrated to America from Ghana five years ago and had his sights set on joining the U.S. Army, a dream that he had finally recognized, as The New York Times reported.
In the end, though, he was one of 12 people who died during the out-of-control blaze.
Emmanuel reportedly had at least two or three people out of the building when the fire claimed his own life. He was staying in the apartment building with friends at the time of the inferno.
“He helped his roommate’s wife and children, they were trying to come out to the stairs and he stopped them,” Mensah said. “He told them to come out the window … then he went in and tried to rescue people out.”
With little regard for his own well-bring, Emmanuel bravely went to different apartments to try and help people get out alive.
“He brought four people out,” Emmanuel’s uncle, Twum Bredu, told The New York Times. “When he went to bring a fifth person out, the fire caught up with him.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Emmanuel in a Twitter post on Dec. 30, as the story of his bravery began to make headlines.
“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,” de Blasio wrote. “His heroism exemplifies the best of our city. Rest in peace.”
As Faithwire previously reported, the “historic” and deadly five-alarm fire that swept through a New York City apartment building Thursday killed a dozen residents and left several more in fighting for their lives. In a news conference Friday morning, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro shared the tragic news that the blaze is believed to have started after a three year old was playing with a stove in an apartment on the first floor of the five-story building.
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.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 30, 2017
The fire soon engulfed the entire structure, which included 25 apartments, taking the lives of people on each floor.
Pray for the victims’ families during this difficult time.