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Firefighter's Recognized for Heroic Efforts at the Royal Crown Fire

Each week Mayor Richard J. Berry honors at least one public safety employee for going above and beyond the call of duty in performing their work. This week Mayor Berry honored seventeen Albuquerque Fire Department firefighters who responded to a large apartment complex fire earlier this year.

Contact: Erin Kinnard Thompson 505-991-6242

April 29, 2011

On February 4, 2011, an apartment fire broke out at the Royal Crown Apartments located at 4801 Gibson Blvd SE. The cause is officially classified as undetermined due to the severity of the fire.


The initial teams to arrive on the scene were Rescue 11 and Engine 11, 5 and 2. During the rescue efforts from the Rescue and Engine teams, AFD led over 30 people to safety and transported 8 people out of the burning building due to smoke inhalation and disorientation. Two civilians were transported to the hospital due to severe smoke inhalation. Engine 13 helped to evacuate the 8 occupants from several locations within the building. During rescue attempts several firefighters fell during a floor collapse in the burning building but did not suffer any life threatening injuries.

The firefighters honored are: Lieutenant Andrew Casaus, Driver Jason Valles, Firefighter Adrian Cordero, Firefighter Stephen Ortiz, Firefighter Nikolaus Gallagher, Driver Courtney Rhoades, Lieutenant Jason Chavez, Driver William Manus, Captain Chris Venghaus, Driver Robert Brown, Firefighter Mark Giardetti, Firefighter Charles Martinez, Lieutenant Johnny Montoya, Driver Joseph Lopez, Firefighter Emiliano Joaquin Griego, Firefighter Arnold Marquez and Firefighter Anthony Martin.

“Firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation”, said Fire Department Chief Breen, “The fire ground is a very dynamic, hazardous environment with numerous critical tasks being accomplished simultaneously. Despite our greatest efforts to control hazards, accidents can occur during the battle to save lives and bring the fire under control.”

Mayor Berry thanked the firefighters for their heroic efforts. “As difficult a situation as it was, it could have been deadly had these gentlemen not been there to answer the call.”