SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — The search for a missing firefighter trapped in a massive blaze at a suburban New York assisted living home ended early Wednesday, when his body was recovered nearly 24 hours after the fire broke out, officials said.
“Early this morning the recovery efforts were successful and the body of a fallen firefighter, a hero for all, was recovered and removed with great solemnity by his fellow brothers and sisters in the fire and emergency services,” Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann wrote in a Facebook post.
The firefighter, identified as Jared Lloyd, was a 15-year volunteer with the Spring Valley Fire Department, said Rockland County Executive, Ed Day, at a news conference Wednesday.
Lloyd was first announced as missing Tuesday morning after the fire ripped through the Evergreen Court Home for Adults in the Rockland County community of Spring Valley, NewsNation affiliate WPIX reported. One male resident, not yet identified, died in the blaze.
“Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others. He searched as the building burned determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped,” Day said. “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.”
It took more than six hours to get the fire under control, and even then, firefighters spent most of the day Tuesday battling hot spots among the search for one of their own. Crews were still at the scene Wednesday morning securing the structure while the investigation into the cause of the fire continued.
The rescue was hampered by the intensity of the smoldering wreckage. Officials searched into the night for the missing firefighter, who was last heard from when he was trapped in the flames.
“This is an extraordinarily difficult time for the fire services within Rockland County,” Hoehmann wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the bravest and the fellow firefighters of Spring Valley who lost a brother.”
Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, a Rockland County official, tweeted video of an overnight procession reportedly showing the “somber moment” the missing firefighter’s remains were escorted by fellow emergency responders to the medical examiner’s office.
Twenty residents were taken area hospitals and one was in critical condition, reported WPIX. Two other firefighters were injured, said Rockland County Fire and Emergency Services Director Chris Kear. One firefighter was released from the hospital and the other was kept overnight due to high carbon monoxide levels.
The home, which is located about 30 miles north of New York City, housed 112 residents, according to its operator. All of the residents of the senior home have since been accounted for and placed in neighboring facilities.
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.
“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 operators of the home said in a statement Tuesday.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.