Worcester firefighter saved from burning home by fallen Fire Lt. Jason Menard remains hospitalized

Firefighter Chris Pace remains in intensive care after being rescued during a four-alarm fire by Fire Lt. Jason Menard, who later died in the blaze


Aviva Luttrell
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

As a 4-alarm fire raged inside a three-decker on Stockholm Street early Wednesday morning, Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard helped save two of his fellow firefighters from the burning building before becoming trapped on an upper floor.

One of those men was firefighter Chris Pace, his family told WCVB. Pace remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center, they said.

Investigators work the scene of an overnight fire that killed Lt. Jason Menard, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 in Worcester, Mass. Menard, 39, and his crew became trapped on the top floor of the three-story home after the fire was reported at about 1 a.m., Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie told a news conference. Menard helped two members of his crew escape but he himself was unable to get out. (Photo/Christine Peterson, Worcester Telegram & Gazette via AP)
Investigators work the scene of an overnight fire that killed Lt. Jason Menard, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 in Worcester, Mass. Menard, 39, and his crew became trapped on the top floor of the three-story home after the fire was reported at about 1 a.m., Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie told a news conference. Menard helped two members of his crew escape but he himself was unable to get out. (Photo/Christine Peterson, Worcester Telegram & Gazette via AP)

Menard died after fire conditions overtook the home’s third floor. He is now being hailed a hero.

“Without him, Chris would not be here,” Pace’s sister-in-law, Tiffany Hansmar, told the television station. “He will always be our hero, and we’re very thankful because (instead) of one loss, it would have been two. Thank you is all we can say.”

She said Pace’s extensive injuries include 13 fractures, eight broken ribs, third-degree burns and a collapsed lung.

When they entered the multi-family home at 7 Stockholm St. just before 1 a.m., the firefighters were searching for a resident who was reportedly trapped along with a baby.

As they made their way to the third floor, the crew became trapped.

“Lt. Menard heroically and selflessly saved his crew, helping a probationary firefighter to the stairs and then returning to rescue another trapped firefighter, assisting him out the window,” Worcester Fire Chief Michael Lavoie told reporters during a press conference Wednesday. “Fire conditions overtook the third floor at this time and Lt. Menard was unable to escape.”

Menard leaves behind a wife, Tina, and their three children.

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©2019 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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