BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three firefighters died and one is in critical condition after battling a blaze Monday morning in a vacant rowhouse that partially collapsed, officials said.
Fire crews were initially called to the scene of a two-alarm fire at a row home in the 200 block of South Stricker Street about 6 a.m. Monday.READ MORE: 2 Marylanders Face Federal Charges For Impersonating Deputy US Marshals
At some point, a partial collapse occurred, trapping four firefighters inside, said Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles Ford. One firefighter was immediately rescued and two more were removed within an hour.
Lt. Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo died in the incident, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday evening. A fourth firefighter, John McMaster, remains at the hospital in critical but stable condition.
Shortly after city and fire officials confirmed the deaths of the firefighters, condolences started pouring in from elected leaders across the region.
Mayor Brandon Scott
“This is a gut wrenching tragedy for our city, the Baltimore City Fire Department, and most importantly the families of our firefighters. There are no words to describe the pain and the severity of the losses we have suffered today. My heart is with the Firefighters, their families, and the entire Baltimore City Fire Department who put the lives and safety of others before their own wellbeing each and every day. I ask that all of Baltimore keep them in our prayers during this extremely difficult time.”
Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles R. Ford
“Every day our Firefighters, our first responders put their lives on the line for the sake of others. Today, three Firefighters lost their lives in service to our city, and another remains remained in critical condition. From this moment, we will honor those we lost today, for their bravery, their courage, their love for helping others and the respect they had for the Baltimore City Fire Department.”
Gov. Larry Hogan
“Our hearts are broken for the entire Baltimore City Fire Department as three of our bravest have fallen in the line of duty. A fourth firefighter was critically injured and is on life support. Each and every day, our firefighters and first responders answer the call and are ready to run into danger—this is our worst nightmare.
“This morning, I spoke to both Mayor Scott and Chief Ford, and at my direction, the State Fire Marshal and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management continue to provide assistance to the city.
“Effective immediately, I have ordered flags lowered to half-staff in remembrance of these fallen heroes. I call on all Marylanders to honor the memories of these brave souls, and pray for their families and fellow firefighters.”
Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby
“When we’re born, we have this innate sense to flinch when danger comes, to run away from emergency issues. As we grow older, we’re taught to do that. The men and women of the Baltimore Fire Department, they sign a pledge to do something different. They sign a pledge to protect each and every one of us on a daily basis and run towards danger. And that’s exactly what occurred this morning.
“They decided to get up, they kissed their wives or their children, they said bye to their loved ones. And they expected to put on those boots and eventually returned home, and they did not and, as the mayor said, paid the ultimate sacrifice for our city.
“Folks, these aren’t just members of the Baltimore City Fire Department. These are our heroes, and we can’t allow this horrific incident to go in vain. We must ensure that we appreciate the job that they do on a daily basis. So as the mayor has asked, I’ll call on second, that we pray for them, we pray for their families, and we also pray for the men and women who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis to protect and serve the citizens of Baltimore, our first responders.”
City Councilman Zeke Cohen
All the love in the world to @BCFDL734 @BaltimoreFire who lost three members in a horrific fire this morning. Baltimore has the best Fire Department in the country. Bar none. The members make it so. Forever grateful for their bravery. We are grieving with you.
— Zeke Cohen (@Zeke_Cohen) January 24, 2022
City Councilman Mark Conway
My thoughts are with the families, friends, and colleagues of the firefighters who lost their lives today. We continue to hope for the full recovery of the firefighter still hospitalized. Heroes, all. https://t.co/AiPqDwtZLs
— Councilman Mark Conway (@MarkConway4th) January 24, 2022
City Councilman Eric Costello
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BCFD Lt. Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler, and EMT/Firefighter Kenny Lacayo made the ultimate sacrifice today.
More details from @MayorBMScott attached.
— Eric Costello (@CouncilmanETC) January 24, 2022
City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett
The people who choose to join the @BaltimoreFire Department are among the bravest frontline first responders in our city. I’m saddened to learn that we’ve lost three firefighters today in the line of duty and send my heartfelt regards to their family, friends, and colleagues. 🙏🏾 https://t.co/Z3tmS2dz7w
— Kristerfer B (@CouncilmanKB) January 24, 2022
City Councilwoman Odette Ramos
My heart is breaking for the families of our brave fire fighters. I will not rest until we eliminate – by rehab or demolition- vacant properties in our city. This is one of the reasons I ran for office. I’m so sorry we didn’t do it in time. https://t.co/nRc2BeYC4E
— Odette Ramos (@odetteramos) January 24, 2022
Baltimore Comptroller Bill Henry
“Baltimore has lost three heroes today. My heart goes out to the families and friends of our fallen firefighters.
Please keep them and everyone at the BCFD in your prayers as they deal with this devastating loss.”
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford
1/2 I’m deeply saddened by the loss of three fallen @BaltimoreFire firefighters, who lost their lives while serving bravely and selflessly in Baltimore. My prayers are with their families, and with the fourth firefighter still in critical condition at Shock Trauma.
— Boyd Rutherford (@BoydKRutherford) January 25, 2022
U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen
Heartbreaking loss. These firefighters & their families are in our thoughts. They made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our community & will never be forgotten. Baltimore’s hearts are heavy tonight for the loss of these 3 brave heroes, as we keep praying for the 4th to recover. https://t.co/dqPJM3JFKF
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) January 24, 2022
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin
Heartbroken for the families and friends of the three firefighters who lost their lives today. My thoughts are with the firefighter who remains in critical condition.
Our bravest put their lives in danger every day to keep our communities safe. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/CLbzc0b5fP
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) January 24, 2022
U.S. Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger
Devastating outcome. Baltimore lost three heroes today. May Lt. Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo rest peacefully. Praying for their families and for the 4th firefighter currently on life support. Standing with @BaltimoreFire and all first responders in this tragedy. https://t.co/6XpKItJnTw
— Dutch Ruppersberger (@Call_Me_Dutch) January 24, 2022
Anne Arundel County County Executive Steuart Pittman
On behalf of Anne Arundel County, I want to offer our heartfelt condolences and support for @BaltimoreFire on the loss of three of their own today. We pray for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and keep their families in our hearts.
— County Executive Steuart Pittman (@AACoExec) January 24, 2022
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.
All of Baltimore County grieves the devastating loss of 3 @BaltimoreFire firefighters.
Each day, our first responders put their lives on the line. Today these heroes made the ultimate sacrifice. On behalf of our residents, we pray for the families of those lost to this tragedy.
— County Executive Johnny Olszewski (@BaltCoExec) January 24, 2022
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
— Barry Glassman (@HarfordExec) January 24, 2022
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball
I’m deeply saddened to hear the passing of three Baltimore City Firefighters and one who remains hospitalized today after being trapped inside a vacant home. My heartfelt condolences are with their families, Baltimore City and all whose lives they touched.https://t.co/GNqEfbOQCk
— Calvin Ball (@HoCoGovExec) January 24, 2022
State Senator Jill Carter
This is an absolutely devastating tragedy. Firefighters serve our community faithfully everyday; they are the ones who walk into buildings while we’re walking out. My prayers and love is with the BCFD, the firefighters and their families. May we never forget their sacrifice. https://t.co/lgVU0eWnZK
— Senator Jill P. Carter (@jillpcarter) January 24, 2022
Del. Brooke Lierman
These heroes represent the best among us and were selfless in their service to Baltimore City and our communities. Please keep their families, the Baltimore City Fire Department, and all first responders in your prayers.https://t.co/uGro4RbVKC
— Brooke Lierman (@BrookeELierman) January 24, 2022
Del. Luke Clippinger
This is a profound and devastating loss for Baltimore City and the families who loved these three heroes. We continue to pray for the EMT/firefighter who remains on life support.
There are few words that speak to the pain and heartbreak of this moment. https://t.co/7mVbtwfFDK
— Luke Clippinger (@LukeClippinger) January 24, 2022
Del. Marlon Amprey
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My heart goes out to the families of the fallen and all the brave members of @BaltimoreFire. No other public service role requires you to be as brave as these men and women. Let us continue to keep those families affected in our prayers. https://t.co/nZ2P3Afeq3
— Delegate Marlon Amprey (@marlonamprey) January 24, 2022