'Dedicated’ New York Firefighter Dies in Blaze Just 1 Day Before His Son's 6th Birthday
"As well as being a dedicated firefighter, Jared was a dedicated father to his two sons," a GoFundMe page says of Spring Valley Firefighter Jared Lloyd
A New York community is rallying around the family of a firefighter who tragically died while putting out a fire at a nursing home.
Spring Valley Volunteer Firefighter Jared Lloyd, 35, died Tuesday in the massive blaze at Evergreen Court Home for Adults, according to flagship station WABC.
The father of two's death came just one day before his son Logan's 6th birthday on Wednesday, the outlet reported.
A GoFundMe page has since been set up to help his family, including his other son, 5-year-old Darius.
"Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said at a news conference, according to WABC. "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."
According to WBCS, there were 112 people inside the assisted living facility when the fire broke out around 1 a.m.
The Columbian Engine Company No. 1, of the Spring Valley Fire Department, confirmed in a Facebook post that Lloyd "was in the process of searching for and rescuing trapped residents" when he died.
"At a certain point, Jared became trapped himself. Firefighter Lloyd radioed in a mayday call and his brother firefighters immediately attempted to locate and extricate him but were unsuccessful before the building suffered a catastrophic collapse," reads the post, where Lloyd is credited with saving multiple victims.
"After searching for over 18 hours straight, state and local emergency service personnel located Firefighter Lloyd's body at 2350 hours on March 23rd," the post states.
In addition to Lloyd, one resident died in the blaze, while two other firefighters and a dozen residents were hurt, WCBS reported.
"This is probably the greatest joint save effort with the worst type of outcome, meaning there were so many people saved that day, but we lost one of our own," Fire Chief Ken Conjura said, per WCBS.
"Jared Lloyd gave his life in service to others, but more importantly, he lived his life in service to others," reads the department's Facebook post. "He was a member of the company for 16 years. He served as an engineer, as a second lieutenant and first lieutenant among many leadership positions in the company."
In the wake of the tragedy, the GoFundMe page was set up for Lloyd's family. So far, it has raised over $554,000.
Organizer Andrew Lerer noted that Lloyd was "a dedicated firefighter" and "a dedicated father to his two sons" who "made the ultimate sacrifice."
A massive amount of support was shown for Lloyd's family on Wednesday, when Conjura organized a parade for Logan's birthday, according to The New York Times.
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Over 200 vehicles from the community — including fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, dump trucks and tow trucks — participated in the surprise and drove past Logan's house to wish him a happy birthday, the outlet reported.
The parade lasted for nearly an hour, as several of the people stopped their vehicles to drop off birthday presents for Logan, according to the NYT.
"He was that guy that you could call and he would be here in a minute," Conjura told the NYT of his decision to organize the parade for Lloyd's son.
"He was that guy that couldn't leave because he was afraid to miss something," he continued. "He was that guy you want to have on your team. He's going to be a big, big, tremendous loss to this department."
"It just speaks about firefighters — even in their darkest moments, they shine," Conjura added to the NYT. "They get together and make things happen. That's what the volunteer fire service is all about: picking each other up."
Those interested in donating to Lloyd's GoFundMe page can do so here.