New York - Private Emmanuel Mensah went off to serve in the Army National Guard, but it was back home where he made the ultimate sacrifice.
Mensah died trying to rescue people from his burning apartment building this week in the Bronx, New York, in the city's deadliest fire in more than 25 years, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
As Mensah's father tells it, he went back into the building twice to rescue neighbors. But he did not make it out alive.
"Private Emmanuel Mensah was a first-generation immigrant, a soldier and a New Yorker. He gave his life rescuing his neighbors in the Bronx fire. His heroism exemplifies the best of our city. Rest in peace," the mayor said Saturday.
A child playing with a kitchen stove started the fire, which quickly spread through the 29-unit building. The fire killed at least 12 people, including four children.