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Father: Army Soldier Died Trying To Save People From Bronx Fire

31 December 2017

A relative at the scene shared photos with News 4 of the children, one just a wide-eyed toddler sipping from a bottle, the other a young girl with a black leather jacket and hot pink trousers. "He wanted to help people out".

Emmanuel Mensah was stationed in Virginia.

Fernando Batiz says he's "just numb" after the deadly fire that claimed the lives of 12 people in a Bronx apartment building.

The apartments stairwell acted as "a chimney" when the fire broke out into the building, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

"What we think at this point is unfortunately it emanated from an accident - a young child playing with a stove on the first floor", de Blasio said on WNYC Radio "It spread rapidly upward ... accidental from everything we can see", the mayor said.

Father Jonathan Morris, pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx, spent hours following the fire consoling families at hospitals as they grappled with the injury, loss or uncertainty of what would happen to their loved ones. His heroism exemplifies the best of our city.

Long ladder reaches up to brick building bathed in flood lights
Father: Army Soldier Died Trying To Save People From Bronx Fire

The NYPD, FDNY, city Office of Emergency Managment, Bronx Borough President's Office and Mayor's Office were conducting a cloathing and coat drive for those affected by the fire at Church of Saint Martin of Tours on Crotona Avenue from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. When the flames erupted, the boy's mother escaped the apartment with her two children, but forgot to close the door behind her. "That's where the baby is".

Thierno Diallo, 59, a security guard originally from Conakry, Guinea, who lives in a ground floor apartment said he was asleep when he heard banging on the door. "It took the fire so quickly up the stairs that people had very little time to react, they couldn't get back down the stairs - those that tried, a few of them perished".

Survivors such as Joel Rodriguez now wonder what to do next.

"I thought as a military man he may have gotten out already", he said Friday.

The Red Cross is providing temporary housing, along with food, drinks, blankets and mental health care to those residents in need. "Then, by the exit, I saw the glass coming down like flames".

So far, officials said they haven't found anything problematic about the building that led to the tragedy. She made it out with her four children and husband but lost Mensah in the mix.

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Father: Army Soldier Died Trying To Save People From Bronx Fire