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Posted: December 30, 2017

Soldier home for holidays died saving others in mass fire at Bronx apartment

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Firefighters put out a major house fire on Prospect avenue on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Over 170 firefighters respond to the evening fire in which at least 12 persons were killed with others injured. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)
Amir Levy/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Firefighters put out a major house fire on Prospect avenue on December 29, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Over 170 firefighters respond to the evening fire in which at least 12 persons were killed with others injured. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

By Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK —

Emmanuel Mensah wanted to join the Army from the time he moved to the U.S. from Ghana about six years ago. 

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Mensah, 28, who recently joined the military and was home from basic training visiting family and friends for the holidays in New York, died Thursday while getting people out of a massive fire at a Bronx apartment.

“That’s his nature,” his father Kwabena Mensah told The New York Post. “He was trying to help people out from the fire, and unfortunately he lost his life. He tried to do his best.”

The fire, sparked from a child playing with a stove, engulfed the five-floor building, leaving more than 12 people dead. It is the city’s deadliest fire since the 1990 Happy Land Social Club arson, which left 87 dead, according to the Post.

Mensah’s roommate was the last to see him before the fire broke out on the third floor.

“He was telling the roommate to not come out of the apartment because there was smoke. But when they rescued everyone from the windows, we couldn’t find him,” Kwabena, 62, told the New York Daily News.

He visited four hospitals, holding out hope he would be reunited with his son. 

Emmanuel’s body was found in a different apartment on the third floor.

“I came home praying for something good, but unfortunately it’s bad,” Kwabena told the Post. “He never made it out.”


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