Spring Valley marks 2 years since deadly fire at assisted living facility

Spring Valley volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd and resident Oliver Hueston died in the fire at the Evergreen Assisted Living Facility on March 23, 2021.

News 12 Staff

Mar 23, 2023, 10:36 AM

Updated 430 days ago

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Thursday marked two years since two people were killed in a fire at a Spring Valley assisted living facility.
What's left of the Evergreen Assisted Living Facility still looks the same as it did after the fire on March 23, 2021 tore through the building. Resident Oliver Hueston and Spring Valley volunteer firefighter Jared Lloyd died. Lloyd was killed while he was saving lives during the fire.
"I'm still in shock that it's been two years," said Spring Valley Fire Department Chief Kenneth Conjura. "You know, we use Jared as a focal point to keep moving and make things better."
Conjura was present that night along with dozens of other first responders. He said he is grateful for those who continue to come to their side.
"The other departments have done so much since that day. Even today, multiple chiefs and firefighters have reached out to us and to see if anybody needs anything," Conjura said.
Throughout Rockland, firehouses, people's homes and even the Optimum location where Lloyd worked have been lit up red in honor of Lloyd.
Since last March, News 12 reported about how a portion of a state road in Hillcrest now bears Lloyd's name. His family received the Medal of Valor on his behalf at the White House from President Joe Biden. Lloyd was also posthumously honored with the Hero Award by the Firefighters Association of the State of New York.
News 12 also reported on what has been happening in Rockland County Court.
In February, Judge Kevin Russo dismissed charges against former Spring Valley building inspector and Public Works Director Wayne Ballard.
Earlier this month, the judge dismissed felony charges and then acquitted Ray Canario of misdemeanor charges.
Both were accused of submitting false inspection reports to the state about the Evergreen Facility.
Next month, father and son rabbis Nathaniel and Aaron Sommer are expected back in court. They face felony charges stemming from the fatal fire, including manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
"Somebody needs to be accountable for this, and I think once that happens, more people will be able to heal and move forward," Conjura said.


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