By Tiffany Chan

WORCESTER (CBS) – Hugo Zayas’s girlfriend and eight-month-old son were sound asleep when a fire ripped through their Worcester apartment Wednesday. Zayas was at the laundromat down the street when he received a panicked video call from his girlfriend.

“The image I seen, I could see smoke,” he said. “I said ‘you have to hurry up and grab the baby and get out of there’. At the same time, she was trying to get the dog.”

Luckily, his family made it out of the Stockholm Street triple-decker safely, but Zayas’s dog, Azul, and Worcester Fire Lt. Jason Menard didn’t. Lt. Menard ran back into the burning home to save fellow firefighters, sacrificing his life to make sure tenants evacuated safely.

Hugo Zayas and his dog Azul (Photo Courtesy: Hugo Zayas)

Zayas said he feels a wave of emotions. “On behalf of my family, we are truly sorry for your loss and I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose someone.”

He watched his third-floor apartment burn and wasn’t able to salvage anything from the fire, no clothing or diapers for his infant son.

A GoFundMe page for Zayas has raised nearly $1,000 to help his family pick up the pieces as they come to terms with not one loss, but two.

“I’m very sorry to the family of the fireman who lost his life,” Zayas said. “My condolences to you.”

Tiffany Chan


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