Street co-naming planned for the heroic Lucas Silverio

Lucas Silverio’s family and friends attended the ceremony.
Photo by Jewel Webber

A proposed street co-naming will commemorate the life of a brave teenager who lost his life in a recent tragedy.

On Friday, August 30, it was announced that a street will be named in honor of the heroic and courageous acts of Lucas Silverio, a 19-year old who lost his life while attempting to save a three-year-old girl from an apartment fire in June.

The Councilman Ritchie Torres’ announcement took place at Crotona Avenue and Grote Street, around the corner from where Lucas and his family lived.

The event included renderings of the proposed street sign. Silverio’s family members wore shirts commemorating his life.

Lucas Yoaldy Silverio Mendoza was born on November 6, 1999 at Columbia Presbyterian Annex in Manhattan to Dominican parents.

He attended William W. Niles Middle School (P.S. 118), the High School for Economics and Finance and was studying physical therapy at Bronx Community College, where he was preparing to graduate from in December.

The tragedy occurred on Saturday, June 8. A massive fire erupted in Silverio’s apartment building at 725 Garden Street. While Lucas was helping his grandmother out of the building, he heard a scream and told his cousin to bring her downstairs. He then attempted to save the toddler, Yasleen McDonald.

Lucas passed away four days later, on June 12, from the third-degree burns he sustained. Yasleen did not survive her injuries.

Silverio’s grandmother, cousin and aunt were also injured as a result of the fire.

“Lucas Silverio’s bravery and heroism will never be forgetten,” said Torres, adding, “For Lucas, the cry of a three-year-old girl was a call to action.”

Torres’ office described Lucas as “a model student who was charismatic, selfless and always trying to serve others until the day he gave his life when he tried to save Yasleen.”

“People need to understand, this was a humble, mature young man with an incredible heart who was far beyond his years,” said Jesse Alvarez, Silverio’s first cousin, who is advocating for a street mural in Lucas’ memory.

Silverio’s wake was held at Ortiz Funeral Home in Manhattan. The funeral and memorial were held in Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic. The family was greeted by hundreds of people and dozens of fire trucks, and all businesses in the town were closed that Tuesday to pay respect to the young man.

The street naming will be voted on by the full City Council in December, with the sign unveiling taking place sometime next year, depending on the family’s schedule.

The FDNY is still investigating the cause of the fire, although it has been reported that the fire started between the 14th and 16th floor, near the trash compactor.

A Go Fund Me page was created after Silverio passed to collect funds for his family as well as a memorial for Lucas. As of press time, the page has raised over $16,000. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/Lucas-yoiady-Silverio.

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