Funeral held for soldier who saved lives during fatal Belmont fire

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    Emmanuel Mensah, the Army National Guard soldier who died while saving neighbors in last year’s Belmont fire, was honored posthumously today with the Soldier’s Medal and the New York state Medal for Valor.

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THE BRONX -

The Bronx hero who lost his life trying to save others during the December Belmont fire was laid to rest Saturday.

Services were held for Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah, the former Army National Guard soldier who died in the fire on Prospect Avenue.

Members of the FDNY lined 187th Street as the body of 26-year-old Mensah was carried into Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Cardinal Timothy Dolan thanked Mensah during his homily, telling congregants that Mensah took up his cross the day he died saving lives.

As News 12 has reported, Mensah ran back into his burning apartment building several times to save other tenants during the Dec. 28 fire. A total of 13 people died, marking the city’s deadliest fire in years, but officials say there could have been more victims if it wasn't for Mensah's selfless actions.

Cardinal Dolan recognized that Mensah's first name, Emmanuel, means "God is with us."

Mensah had been training to be a military police officer. He was stationed in Virginia and home for the holidays when he made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mensah was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

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