Family and friends have been left stunned and bereaved at the horrific turn of events in the aftermath of a blazing inferno broke out in their high-rise apartment in the Bronx.
A would-be hero - only 19 years old - sacrificed his own life in a daring attempt to rescue a trapped three-year-old neighbor girl.
Lucas Silverio rushed back into the burning building when he heard the little Yasleen McDonald's cries for help. But the daring rescue effort ended in tragedy when both Silverio and the toddler perished from their injuries.
“The courageous Silverio succumbed Wednesday to massive injuries suffered in his daring but ultimately deadly attempt to rescue a terrified 3-year-old Yasleen from a raging Bronx high-rise building fire early Sunday, relatives and police sources said.
Little Yasleen had passed away two days earlier.
According to Silverio’s family, the brave 19-year-old and his cousin, Jeury Mendoza, “were carrying their grandmother down 15 floors when Lucas spotted the baby in distress.”
Lucas could not help but take action.
“Lucas told Jeury, ‘Bro, take mamma downstairs, I’m gonna go back and get the little girl,’” Silverio’s second cousin Jesse Alvarez told WABC.
And Lucas wasted no time turning his words into action.
“The youthful rescuer raced into the choking smoke and flames, bolting up to the 14th floor where Yasleen became separated from Moreno — whose shrieks steered Silverio to the lost little girl.
"Silverio plucked the small child from the darkness and lugged her back down the stairs to waiting firefighters and EMTs," officials said.
Unfortunately, the story did not have a happy ending.
“Upon retrieving the little girl there was an explosion that rendered him unconscious.”
The little girl succumbed from her injuries the next day.
Yasleen’s family is overwhelmed with gratitude for Lucas’ selfless actions.
“I was shocked that a 19-year-old would go into the fire,” said Yasleen’s great uncle Willie Colon, 52, of the Bronx. “That guy is going to be in my heart forever.”
His family was overcome with anguish Wednesday night at Jacobi Medical Center after Lucas died of injuries he suffered in the raging inferno.
“He had a beautiful spirit and a heart of gold,” said Jesse Alvarez, a second cousin of the intrepid Silverio. “He had a heart the size of this planet. I want New Yorkers to take away that a hero died, and that hero’s name was Lucas Silverio.”
Please join us in praying for Lucas and Yasleen's families after this horrible tragedy. May the two lost souls rest in peace in God's loving arms.