NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A hero soldier who died rescuing people from a massive fire in the Bronx was honored on Friday.
Army National Guard soldier Emmanuel Mensah, 28, was posthumously awarded two valor medals at a ceremony at Fordham University.
Mensah, a native of Ghana, was among 12 people killed back on Dec. 28 when a five-story Belmont apartment building went up in flames.
He was staying with a family on the first floor of the building when the deadly fire broke out. His uncle, Twun Bredu, said before firefighters arrived, Mensah saved a family of six, including four young children.
“According to those who saw him, he came out about three times helping people out and then the fourth time he went back to help, he didn’t come back,” Bredu said in December.
A 13th person who was injured in the blaze died last month.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the fire was sparked by a little boy who was playing with the burners on the stove in a first floor apartment.
He said the fire quickly spread up the stairs, but added that there was nothing structurally about the building that was unusual.