Every once in a while, collective spirits are revived by the actions of a real-life hero. Twenty-five-year-old Albert Madrid was such a hero. Returning to his trailer park in Highland, California, shortly after midnight, Madrid saw a mobile home engulfed in flames. Madrid immediately rushed towards the scene and to the aid of the family asleep inside.
The fire started in the middle of the night on March 9, 2019. Madrid was with his girlfriend when he returned home and was spurred by an instinctive response to the flames, rushing from his vehicle to help escort the family to safety.
It wasn’t long before firefighters flooded into the trailer park, but owing to the voracious nature of the fire, the family had already been hurriedly evacuated. Four people stood safely outside the trailer, two of them young children: girls aged 4 and 7. Cal Fire reported that the 4-year-old suffered “mild to moderate injuries.” The grandfather allegedly went to hospital with third-degree burns.
Civilian Fatality – Sterling IncidentYesterday CAL FIRE BDU Highland Firefighters responded to a reported structure…
Cal Fire then went on to deliver a devastating blow: “A bystander who was providing rescue efforts prior to the first arriving fire engine perished in the fire.” Madrid, after his incredible success in helping rescue the whole family from their burning home, didn’t make it out alive.
Madrid’s friends and family are understandably reeling. But one common acknowledgement seems to provide some comfort to them all: Madrid was a true hero. Madrid’s mother in particular, Irene Sainte-Claire, is able to assuage her broken heart with the knowledge that her son saved a family whose lives might otherwise have been lost. “They were all asleep. He saved the little girls … the teenager and the grandpa,” the grieving mom shared with KTLA-TV. “He got them out.”
In Loving Memory of Albert G. Madrid https://t.co/g46niZx0Ct
— Irene Sainte-Claire (@IreneSainte) March 13, 2019
Madrid’s mom met the family that her son had saved and shared a tearful embrace. “That family came up to me,” she regaled, “and hugged me and told me, ‘We want to thank you, because your son saved the little kids and my dad.’”
Madrid’s father, Robert Madrid, wrote a eulogy on a memorial website for his son: “He was only 25 years old but he was the bravest man I have ever known,” the young man’s father shared. “He is my hero, my son, a brother, and a grandchild.”
— Adrianna Weingold (@weingold) March 11, 2019
The family, collectively, is working through their heartbreak by focusing on Madrid’s act of selflessness and the extraordinary rewards reaped from his actions: namely, that two little girls and one entire family are safe and sound, thanks to him. “My brother chose to go in and help, and I want him to be remembered for that,” Madrid’s sister Melissa said, tearfully. “He is a good man.”
Madrid will be remembered during a funeral that the family are collectively arranging. They are hoping to raise the necessary funds to say a fitting farewell to their beloved son, brother, and partner through a GoFundMe campaign, set up “in loving memory” of Albert G. Madrid.
Cal Fire assured the family, local residents, and the neighborhood at large that the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Family and friends held a vigil for their lost hero. Madrid’s father echoed the sentiments of everybody who knew his brave and selfless son: “He will be loved and missed.”