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Bronx House Fire Hero Honored Posthumously in Ceremony at Fordham

Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah, who lost his life while trying to rescue others in a horrific house fire in the Bronx late last year, was honored with the Soldier’s Medal and the New York State Medal For Valor on Feb. 16 at a ceremony held at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.

Friends and family of the fallen soldier were on hand at Keating Hall to accept the posthumous medals in an emotional ceremony. Many New York media outlets, such as Pix 11 News, covered the event. Watch their news segment on it here.

The Mensah family accepted the Soldiers Medal, the Army’s top award for valor outside of combat, and the New York State Medal for Valor, the state’s highest military award.

The fatal Dec. 28 house fire broke out in a 5-story building in the Belmont section of the Bronx. It took the lives of 12 people while leaving six injured and is considered the deadliest house fire in New York in over 25 years.

Pfc. Mensah is credited with saving four lives as he ran in and out the burning building as many as three times.

Mensah could have remained safely outside after first escaping the fire himself, but “it was not in his nature to stand by without doing whatever he could to help,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, who presented the military medal to Mensah’s father.

Read more about the valor awards via Stars and Stripes.


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