CLARKSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A 13-year veteran firefighter died Monday morning after he fell through a floor of a burning home in Howard County.
Nathan Flynn, 34, of Havre de Grace, fell through the first floor of the Clarksville home just 20 minutes after the 911 call was made.
It took the fire rescue team another 22 minutes to find an unconscious Flynn inside the basement. He was rushed to Howard County General Hospital where he later died.
Flynn is a father of five and the first career firefighter to die in the line of duty in Howard County.
The house fire had nearly 100 firefighters responding to the 7-alarm blaze around 2 a.m. Three people who were inside the home at the time of the fire made it outside safely.
Following Flynn’s rescue, the fire department deemed the house too unsafe to go inside and instead took a defensive posture, hosing the fire from outside the home.
Flynn was a career firefighter at the Howard County Fire Department and for the last 18 months, he had donated his time as a volunteer firefighter at Susquehanna Hose Company House 5.
According to Maryland real estate records, the house belongs to Howard County politician Janet Siddiqui, who is running for County Council and is a former county school board member.
In a statement, the Siddiqui family said: “Structures can be rebuilt, but the loss of a loved one is irreplaceable.”
The family also appears to have donated to a GoFundMe page set up for Flynn’s family.
“We’re trying to make sure his family, his wife, his kids are taken care of — to ease the burden on them. There’s nothing we can do to take any of this away, but we can certainly try to ease the burden on them,” Susquehanna Hose Company Chief Scott Hurst said.
Rich Ruehl, the president of the firefighter’s union, was emotional at a press conference help Monday about the loss of Flynn but promised to take care of Flynn’s family like his own.
“He’s a brother,” Ruehl said, “and our job now is to make sure that his family… and our brother is laid to rest with dignity and with all the honors we can provide for him. It’s also our job to take care of the family — forever. They are ours now — and they always will be.”
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted out his condolences to Flynn’s “family, fellow firefighters, and loved ones.”
Hogan ordered the U.S. Flag and Maryland State Flag be lowered to half-staff effective immediately in honor of Flynn.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Howard County Firefighter Nathan Flynn, a 13-year veteran of the department, husband, and father who bravely ran toward danger to save others’ lives in a seven-alarm fire in Clarksville, Md,” Hogan said. “The First Lady and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to his family, fellow firefighters, and all of his friends and loved ones in the communities he selflessly served for over a decade.
“U.S. and Maryland flags will be lowered today through sunset on the day of his interment to honor this fallen hero,” he added.
The city up lights in Havre de Grace will also be illuminated red for one week in honor of Flynn
“The City was overcome with grief this morning as we learned of the passing of one of our own, Nathan Flynn,” said Mayor William T. Martin. “Nathan, a son of Havre de Grace, was part of the revered legacy of the Susquehanna Hose Company and an honored member of our community. I ask everyone to keep Nathan and his family in your prayers as our city, and the entire state, mourns his passing.”
The initial call about the fire stated that lightning in the area struck the home, but the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A procession was seen leaving Howard County to take Flynn’s body to Harford County where he resided.