By Sean Streicher

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Brandon Scott said on Saturday that he was filled with joy after watching the community come together to celebrate the lives of three Baltimore firefighters who died while battling a house fire in January.

Scott made the comment in a social media after planting a tree at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School to honor fallen firefighters Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Kenny Lacayo in West Baltimore on Earth Day.

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Scott was joined by students from Baltimore City Public Schools, volunteers, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles Ford, and Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Jason Mitchell, according to DPW staff.

DPW collaborated with Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School and Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy School on the Earth Day festivities, which took place in the 1400 block of Lafayette Avenue, staff said.

By participating, residents obtained stormwater credits toward their water bills. While Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School and Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy School students earned learning hours.

“The garden is an expression of appreciation for their dedication to protecting our residents,” Scott said.

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Butrim, Sadler, and Lacayo were fatally injured after part of the house that was on fire collapsed on them on Jan. 24.

The house used to sit in the 200 block of N. Stricker Street. It was demolished after the fire.

Another firefighter, John McMaster, was injured during the building collapse. He was taken to Shock Trauma where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

In the days following the deadly fire, Gov. Larry Hogan declared that flags across the state would remain at half-staff in honor of the firefighters.

Hogan described the incident as “truly a horrific tragedy,”

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Sean Streicher