Fire Capt. James O’Connell and firefighters Henry Tasto and Ryan Toby will be recognized by Chief Joanne Hayes-White at Thursday’s Fire Commission meeting as recipients of the Firehouse Magazine Heroism and Community Service Award, according to the Fire Department.
O’Connell, Tasto and Toby responded to a fire at a three-story apartment building at 1839 Jefferson St. on the night of Dec. 13, 2009, to find the second floor consumed in flames, department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.
Despite the fire and heavy smoke, all three men went up to the third floor and found a 27-year-old man who lived there unconscious and badly burned, Talmadge said.
The victim was removed from the building but after extensive treatment at a local burn center, died about two weeks later, Talmadge said.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental. Investigators determined that fireplace ashes had been improperly disposed of in a garbage bin located in the building’s tradesman entrance.
Thursday’s Fire Commission meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at Fire Department headquarters at 698 Second St.