Schumer to Army: Honor Belmont Fire Hero


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has urged the U.S. Department of the Army to posthumously honor Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah, who was tragically killed while rescuing four individuals from the massive apartment fire in the Bronx. Pfc. Mensah’s family emigrated from Ghana and was a permanent legal resident who enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2016.

Schumer Says Mensah, an Immigrant from Ghana, Showed Courage, Sacrifice & Utter Selflessness & Deserves To Be Recognized

According to reports, Pfc. Mensah successfully evacuated a family of six and ran back into the inferno four times to save the lives of others.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Army, Schumer said that the Army should honor and recognize Pfc. Mensah for living and dying according to the highest ideals of this country.

“Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah was many things: a soldier, an immigrant, a first-generation American, a New Yorker – but above all else he was a hero. His courage, sacrifice and utter selflessness in the face of mortal danger during the tragic fire in the Bronx uphold the highest standards of the United States Army and make him a worthy example for every American to follow.  It is my sincere hope that the Department of the Army will honor and recognize one of their own who lived and died according to the highest ideals of their institution and of this country,” said Senator Schumer.

In his letter, Sen. Schumer wrote: “On the tragic evening of December 28th2017, Pfc. Mensah displayed the Army values of personal courage, selfless service and duty.”

A copy of Schumer’s letter is below:

Dear Secretary Esper,

           I write today to implore the Department of the Army to posthumously honor Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah of the New York Army National Guard who was tragically killed while rescuing four individuals from a massive apartment fire at his family home in the Bronx, New York.

            Pfc. Mensah was home in the Bronx for the holidays after having completed training and was waiting to begin drilling with the 107th Military Police Company this month. His visit home was his first since he had enlisted in the Army National Guard a year earlier. On the tragic evening of December 28th 2017, Pfc. Mensah displayed the Army values of personal courage, selfless service and duty. He was sleeping on the first floor of the five-story apartment building, when the deadly fire broke out. After safely evacuating the family of six out of the apartment, Pfc. Mensah exited the building. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, he ran back into the inferno four times to help save the lives of four others. Firefighters believe that based upon where they found his remains that he was still attempting to rescue others when he succumbed to the flames.

            Pfc. Mensah was many things: a soldier, an immigrant, a first generation American, a New Yorker but above all else he was a hero. His courage, sacrifice and utter selflessness in the face of mortal danger make him a worthy example for every American to follow. It is my sincere hope that the Department of the Army will honor and recognize one of their own who lived and died according to the highest ideals of this country. 

            Thank you for your attention to this issue. Should you have any questions or require further information please do not hesitate to contact my office.

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