One of the FDNY’s bravest was awarded the Public Safety Medal of Valor on Wednesday.
Firefighter Peter Demontreux is one of 18 recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor by a public safety officer. Four of the awards were given posthumously. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder presented the award.
The Brooklyn firefighter and his unit at Ladder Company 132, responded to a brownstone fire in August 2010. On the third floor, he encountered 60-year-old Henri Howell, who said a friend was still trapped inside. After getting Howell out, Demontreux proceeded into the building and found 51-year-old Clyde Mantany.
While trying to exit, the floor became engulfed by flames, and both he and Mantany caught on fire. He still got Mantany out of the building and then dove onto the aerial ladder outside the third floor window.
Both suffered burns, with Mantany receiving burns over 50 percent of his body. Demontreux’s protective equipment was tested and found to be have been subjected to temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor will be another to add to his collection of honors. Demontreux received the FDNY's highest awards for bravery: the 2011 James Gordon Bennett Medal. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Dr. Harry M. Archer Medal, which is awarded to just one firefighter every three years.