A most tragic death of a courageous Monaco fireman has occurred in the course of a rescue mission which saved two occupants from a fire in a large luxurious apartment in the “Le 21” residence, avenue Princesse-Grace. “Le 21” is opposite the Grimaldi Forum which housed the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
This brave hero succumbed after being exposed to copious black toxic fumes from the blaze leading to his evacuation to Princess Grace Hospital where sadly his condition was so severe he could not be revived and he passed away.
He had been transported in grave condition to the Princess Grace Hospital Center by a rescue and victim assistance vehicle, escorted by two motor-cyclists from Public Security.
It is reported that one of the two surviving occupants of the conflagration in the apartment that was completely charred was an elderly lady not far off from 100 years of age. These two rescued occupants of the apartment from which the fire started were transported to the CHPG.
It was an unusual blaze giving off tremendous heat and toxic smoke due to the large size of the apartment of about 400 square metres and the abundant furnishings that were consumed by the blaze.
The fire in the building in Monaco was so intense that nine people in total were reported poisoned by smoke, including two firefighters, one being the brave soul who died, the other being slightly injured.
Those poisoned by the noxious smoke included seven other people in the vicinity taken care of and placed on oxygen by the Monaco SMUR.
A medical and psychological emergency unit had been activated, in support of the firemen, many exhausted by the intervention.
At Larvotto, in the seaside district of the Principality, the thick black smoke, which became whitish later could be seen for many hours.
It is reported that as many as 65 firefighters from Monaco and fifteen vehicles were engaged fighting the virulent apartment fire, and that the valiant rescuer that died was Sergeant Thierry Perard. Married and father of a 21-year-old daughter, this 52-year-old fireman had served in the Monaco Fire Brigade for over 25 years.
From the Monaco Fire Brigade ,150 strong, firefighters remained mobilized throughout the night to prevent any possible resumption of fire.
Minister of the Interior and Health, Patrice Cellario and Christophe Robino, spent hours at the site providing support to the fearless firefighters.
A judicial process is reported to have already commenced for “manslaughter and involuntary injury”. The investigation is being carried out by Public Security, under the supervision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Monaco.
Experts from the interregional laboratory of the scientific police of Marseille were sent to the scene to discover the origin of this fire, currently unexplained, as well as the causes which led to the death of the firefighter.
The apartment will be placed under seal to freeze the scene.
A national tribute was paid to Sergeant Thierry Pérard, who died in the fire and whose own father was a volunteer firefighter. He was elevated to a higher rank posthumously. Sergeant Thierry Pérard had also been congratulated for his exceptional interventions in other violent apartment fires including in 2012, at 20 boulevard d’Italie.
A funeral mass followed the military funeral honours. Lieutenant-Colonel Maxime Yvrard delivered the touching eulogy.
To the family of brave Thierry Perard, his loved ones, and his fellow firefighters, the staff of HelloMonaco sends its most heartfelt condolences.