Firefighter Jared Lloyd of Spring Valley’s Columbian Fire Company has not been forgotten, as anxious residents who live on Lafayette Street and across Rockland County await the verdict on the inferno that consumed the Evergreen Nursing Home for Adults on Tuesday morning, March 23. There has been an ongoing criminal investigation since the three-story, block long adult nursing facility burned to the ground that day.
The fire broke out approximately 1:00 am Tuesday morning, with Hatzalah EMS quickly responding to the scene and evacuating the 112 adults who lived in the home by bus. Those residents were sent to other nursing homes in Spring Valley and Lakewood, New Jersey, both owned by Evergreen’s operator, G&J New Bader Enterprises, LLC.
Lloyd, a 15-year member of the Columbian Fire Company, was one of the first to respond to the fast-moving fire. The 35-year-old married father of two young boys called a mayday from the third floor, but smoke and intense heat forced fellow firefighters back. His body was recovered later that day. More than two dozen fire companies responded to the blaze, which could be seen for miles. One resident on Lafayette Street reported hearing “loud popping sounds” before the blaze kicked out windows and eventually collapsed a wall of the building.
More than two months after Evergreen burned to the ground, Rockland County fire officials and the Rockland County District Attorney’s office are still investigating its cause. It was reported that a rabbi used a blowtorch to clean the kitchen in preparation for Passover approximately one hour before the deadly fire was called in. Evergreen’s fire alarms had been set on “standby” the day before the fire broke out. The adult home, which cared for seniors and disabled adults, had more than 27 violations dating back to 2016.
The blaze was made even more difficult to tackle, since several hydrants in the immediate vicinity of the inferno on Lafayette Street were either inoperable or had too little pressure, forcing firefighters to run hoses for several blocks to working hydrants.
Lloyd’s funeral, held in Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, was attended by hundreds of firemen from across the tri-state area and beyond; a Go Fund Me Page started for his wife and two young sons raised over a quarter-million dollars in just one day.
Rocklanders await a verdict on the cause of the fire.