Spring Valley's West Street renamed Jared C. Lloyd Way; anger persists over plea deal

SPRING VALLEY − After a count of three, Darius and Logan each pulled a string unveiling the "Jared C. Lloyd Way" street sign named for their father on a rainy Monday night.

The youngsters, both under 10, stood with their grandmother, Sabrail Davenport, as up to 400 people attended the dedication ceremony on West Street at the Columbian Fire Engine Co. No. 1. The firehouse was Lloyd's home base.

Lloyd, 35, a second lieutenant and 16 years as a firefighter, died March 23, 2021, during the inferno that destroyed the Evergreen Court Home for Adults. Part of the massive Lafayette Street building collapsed on Lloyd as he and dozens of other firefighters evacuated 112 residents.

"I'll keep this brief because it's very emotional for me," Davenport said, holding back tears standing under an umbrella with her husband and grandsons by her side. "Thank you all for coming and your support for the past 2 1/2 years.

Davenport extolled the efforts of the volunteer firefighters and noted her son called a "mayday" alert that ended up saving the life of fellow Spring Valley firefighter Eric Cich, who was seriously injured.

Sabrail Davenport, the mother of Jared Lloyd, and Lloyd's sons Darius, 6, and Logan Schultz, 8, attend a ceremony turning the name of West Street to Jared C. Lloyd Way during a ceremony Sept 18, 2023. The street was renamed in memory of Lloyd, who died in the March 2021 fire at the Evergreen Home for Adults. Hundreds of firefighters, elected officials, and members of the community attended the ceremony.

She urged firefighters to attend Wednesday's morning sentencing in County Court of Rabbi Nathaniel Sommer and his son Aaron on their guilty pleas to charges of causing the fatal fire. Adult home resident Oliver Hueston, 79, died as a result of the fire.

Sentencing set: Men who caused Evergreen Court fire to be sentenced; Lloyd honored for evacuation role

Sommer admitted to using a 20-pound propane blowtorch to cleanse the Evergreen Court ovens and kitchen for Passover. Sommer, 71, pleaded to two felony counts of second-degree manslaughter. His son, 28, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor second-degree reckless endangerment.

In a plea deal with the Rockland District Attorney's Office and approved by Judge Kevin Russo, the father and son will not serve jail or prison time but will pay $600 in court fees.

Several hundred firefighters, elected officials, and members of the community attended a ceremony turning the name of West Street to Jared C. Lloyd Way during a ceremony Sept 18, 2023. The street was renamed in memory of Lloyd, who died in the March 2021 fire at the Evergreen Home for Adults. Sarbial Davenport, the mother of Jared Lloyd, and Lloyd's sons Darius, 6, and Logan Schultz, 8, unveiled a street sign bearing the name of Lloyd.

The sentencing agreement has enraged Davenport, firefighters, and many other residents. Firefighters across the county have banned District Attorney Thomas Walsh from their firehouses and events, while supporting a write-in campaign against him in the Nov. 7 elections.

Walsh is running unopposed on the ballot with support from the Democratic and Republican parties. He's declined comment on the case or the anger surrounding the plea deal.

One potential candidate, Richard Kennison Moran, has declined the opportunity to be a candidate. Moran is a former Rockland prosecutor who was not retained by Walsh. Moran, a veteran prosecutor who handled homicides and other violent crimes, is working for the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

"I am honored to be the chief trial prosecutor for David Hoovler, the best DA in NY state, and my plan is to stay in that position," Moran said Tuesday. "I am not a candidate for any position this November.  I have been informed of a possible write-in effort.  If my name is forwarded as a candidate for any position, that is being done without my involvement.  While I have great respect for the citizens of Rockland County, I would be unable to accept the position of District Attorney this November."

Davenport pushed an anti-Walsh vote.

"When I stand up in court and make my statement, it will not be just for Jared," Davenport said. "It's time to get that man out of office."

The dedication focused more on Lloyd than politics.

"Today, we gather in solemnity and reverence to commemorate a hero whose courage and sacrifice continue to resonate within our hearts," said Reggie Anderson, the president of Colombian Fire Co. and a retired Spring Valley police detective. He also is the confidential aide to Spring Valley Mayor Alan Simon.

Sabrail Davenport, the mother of Jared Lloyd, and LloydÕs sons Darius, 6, and Logan Schultz, 8, unveil a street sign turning the name of West Street to Jared Lloyd Way during a ceremony Sept 18, 2023. The street was renamed in memory of Lloyd, who died in the March 2021 fire at the Evergreen Home for Adults. Hundreds of firefighters, elected officials, and members of the community attended the ceremony.

Anderson said the Village Board approved adding Lloyd's name to an estimated half-mile stretch of West Street from Route 59. Spring Valley trustees Asher Grossman and Yisroel Eisenbach attended.

Anderson said, "Let it be known that today is not a celebration, but a solemn remembrance. It is a day when we pause to honor the ultimate sacrifice made by our dear brother firefighter, Jared C. Lloyd, on that fateful day, March 23, 2021. Jared displayed unparalleled heroism when he risked his own life to save countless residents from the ravaging Evergreen fire. His bravery and selflessness define the very essence of what it means to be a firefighter."

Davenport credited firefighter George Cich with organizing the dedication and working with others to keep Lloyd's memory alive and pressing for activism. Cich's son survived the fire and works as a paid firefighter in another state.

The firehouse and eventual West Street dedications follow a mile-plus stretch of Route 45, from Eckerson Road to New Hempstead Road, named "The Jared Lloyd Memorial Highway" in 2022.

Lloyd has been honored by New York State with his name added to the firefighter memorial and the "Hero Award" from the Firefighters Association of the State of New York. His name also has been enshrined on the memorial for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

His mother, Sabrail Davenport, and sons accepted the Medal of Honor from President Joe Biden in July during a White House ceremony. The medal is the nation's highest civilian honor, "awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm."

Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking news, courts, police, and investigations. Reach him at slieberm@lohud.com. Twitter: @lohudlegal.

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This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Spring Valley street renamed in honor of firefighter Jared Lloyd