NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Friday, May 12, marks two years since New Haven lost a hero. Firefighter Ricardo Torres, Jr. went into a burning building to save people trapped inside. He did not make it back out, but his family is keeping his spirit alive.

Kids selling lemonade happens every day, but this is not just any day, and these are not just any kids. Oliver and Crew are the sons of Torres.

“They look just like their dad in every single way,” said Torres’ stepfather, Armand Mendez. “Personality, looks, and everything. Reminds you of what Ric really stood for and what he was about.”

Ricardo Torres, Jr.

“If anyone needed help, Ricardo was there,” said Torres’s mother, Cathy Foster-Mendez. “From a young age, he believed in helping others. He believed in giving back.”

That spirit drove him to become a firefighter. The kind of firefighter who ran into a burning building on Valley Street two years to rescue people trapped inside, sacrificing his life for theirs. This year, his engine company raised a special flag. It is usually somewhere else.

“That flag rides on the back of the Engine Company,” said Lt. William Riggot of the New Haven Fire Department. “Just so everyone in the neighborhood knows and all the districts that six goes to know, Rico’s always with us at all times when we’re responding, watching over us, making sure everything is going good.”

The station house also has a bench outside dedicated to Torres. Oliver and Crew will always have that, even though their father was taken too soon for them to remember.

“It was two weeks before Oliver’s first birthday, and I was still pregnant with Crew, so they don’t really have the memories with Ricardo,” said Torres’s widow, Erica Martinez.

But they have his spirit. That’s why all the proceeds from the lemonade stand are going to support a local food pantry.

“Grieving never ends, but we’re trying to come up with this mindset: Let’s celebrate him,” Foster-Mendez said. “Let’s celebrate who he was and, to us, who he still is.”

His family and firefighter family will never forget him.