NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – One year ago today, the City of New Haven lost a hero, Ricardo Torres Jr., after he put his life on the line to save the lives of those trapped in a burning building.

Torres was a beloved firefighter in the city of New Haven who served with the Dixwell Fire Station. Firefighters at the Dixwell Fire Station honored the life of their fallen brother Ricardo Torres Jr., one year after his death at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Torres lost his life on May 12 of last year in the early hours of the morning when he ran into a Valley Street home that was engulfed in flames. Torres was found unconscious on the second floor of the home along with Lieutenant Samod Rankins.

Rankins spent 11 days in the Bridgeport Burn Unit recovering from the injuries he suffered in the blaze. Lieutenant Rankins has since joined the Hamden Fire Commission.

On Thursday, Torres Jr.’s turnout coat was framed for posterity. A plaque captures his smile.

“I had a difficult time again this morning. I got up at 3 o’clock and tore my speech up because my heart just isn’t right,” said Chief John Alston, New Haven Fire Department.

Ricardo Torres Jr. is remembered as “Tornado Torres” to his fellow firefighters for the energy he showed at the fire academy.

“His classmates came up with the name Tornado, and that name stuck. His energy, his passion, his emotion, his drive, his will. THat’s what we remember about Rico,” said Capt. Kendall Richardson, New Haven Fire Department.

Department leaders say Torres saved multiple people, multiple times, including helping save civilians during his last call.

“At 30 years old, Firefighter Torres left us far too soon, but he also left us a model and a legacy. A legacy of service, a legacy of bravery, a legacy of heroism,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.

The 30-year-old firefighter from West Haven had dreamt of becoming a firefighter. He left behind a wife and two young boys, one of whom he never had the chance to meet as he was born after he passed away.

In addition to all the items around the firehouse, there is also an award for first responders named after Torres Jr.