By AARON KATERSKY, ABC News
(SPRING VALLEY, N.Y.) — A body was discovered Wednesday in the aftermath of a fire that burned through a Spring Valley, New York, assisted living facility, killing one resident and prompting dozens of middle-of-the-night rescues.
Flames broke out inside the Evergreen Court For Adults on Lafayette Street just after 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.
A firefighter has been unaccounted for since the blaze, but authorities said there is currently no confirmation that the body pulled from the rubble is the missing firefighter.
“We recovered a body from within what remained of the structure on Lafayette Street. At this current time, there is no positive confirmation that this is the missing firefighter from the Spring Valley Fire Company,” Chris Kear, Rockland County director of Fire and Emergency Services said Wednesday.
The body, however, is believed to be fallen Spring Valley firefighter, Jeremy Lloyd, according to reports.
“Yesterday, Jared Lloyd gave his life and service to others. He searched as a building burned, determined to rescue anyone who may have been trapped. His loss is devastating,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said Wednesday.
“We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of Jared Lloyd,” the Evergreen Court Home for Adults issued in a statement Wednesday.
Between 20 and 25 residents were rescued by firefighters in what they described as a “chaotic scene.”
One resident was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Thirteen residents were transported to area hospitals and one remains in critical condition, Kear said.
A portion of the building collapsed as firefighters battled the blaze. One firefighter was briefly trapped in the burning structure.
Two firefighters were injured. One was admitted to Westchester Medical Center and another was treated at Hackensack University Medical Center and released.
Kear dispelled earlier reports that one of the firefighters appeared to have suffered a medical condition, possibly a heart attack.
“One firefighter was kept overnight due to high carbon monoxide levels in his blood. There was some misinformation being circulated among the media. There was no firefighter or anybody on the scene that had a heart attack,” he said.
The origins of the fire are still unclear.
“We don’t have any indications just yet whether it’s a suspicious fire or accidental,” Rockland Sheriff Louis Falco said Wednesday and that the fire was still “under investigation.”
Denise Kerr, the director of the Evergreen Court Home for Adults called the fire an “unspeakable tragedy” in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all individuals and families who have been impacted. We join the community in mourning the loss of our resident who passed away and pray for the safety of the missing firefighter,” Kerr also said.
The facility is “fully cooperating with all state and local authorities” in their investigation of the fire and that all 112 residents had been accounted for, relocated and that their families are being contacted.
“Anyone who wishes to reach us to inquire about a family member can call 973-378-1997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,” Kerr added.
The building is a total loss.
Kear said an indentification of the remains will be made once the medical examiner’s office conducts an investigation which will include DNA testing.
The facility offers assisted living, nursing home facilities and continuing care for older adults.
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