In his more than 25 years as firefighter in Stamford, Connecticut, Capt. Jacques Roy thought he could handle anything – until the smoke cleared from a devastating fire that killed three children and their grandparents.
“I was the guy who couldn't hack it. I was the guy who needed help. I never thought it would be me. But it was me,” says Roy.
Roy and his team were among those who pulled bodies from the ashes of the fire on Christmas Day 2011 at the home of fashion executive Madonna Badger.
“When we respond to a call, we always have to suppress our emotions and use our logic and our past experiences to perform our job,” he explains. “If they’re very strong emotions, sometimes we never get to process them. So we wind up with fragments of an incident left over.”