A street in Bronx, New York, is set to be named after Private 1st Class Emmanuel Mensah, the Ghanaian-born US soldier who died rescuing people from the Belmont building fire in December 2017.
This was announced by the area’s district councilman, Ritchie Torres.
Kwabena Mensah will also receive a Medal of Valor and a Soldier’s Medal from the Army, the latter being the highest peacetime honor for bravery not involving armed conflict.
The 28-year-old soldier was among the 13 victims of the fire that gutted the building on December 28, 2017.
Mr. Torres was speaking during a gathering of the community and religious leaders to announce support for the victims of the Belmont building fire, as well as the distribution of donations collected.
“Emmanuel Mensah represents the best that this country and this community has to offer,” Mr. Torres said.
Speaking to the New York Daily News, Mensah’s father, Kwabena Mensah, 62, said the street renaming would honor the grieving family.
“That is going to be nice on his legacy. He will be remembered forever. He’s gone, but when I see the street with his name on it, that will put me in a good mood… Naming a street after him will keep him here forever,” Kwabena Mensah’s father said.
After the fire broke out on the first floor of the building, the young soldier, who was home for the holidays, saved four lives.
Reports indicate that Kwabena Mensah raced in and out of the burning building at least three times bringing others to safety, but he was unable to make it out himself.
Authorities say a 3-year-old boy ignited the blaze while playing with a gas stove inside his first-floor apartment.
The boy’s mother, who escaped the inferno with the little boy and a second small child, did not close the door as she raced to safety, fire officials said.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana