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HomeNewsBaltimore firefighter dies after battling massive blaze that engulfed multiple rowhouses

Baltimore firefighter dies after battling massive blaze that engulfed multiple rowhouses

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A quickly intensifying blaze that engulfed a number of rowhouses in northwest Baltimore late Thursday afternoon left one firefighter lifeless and 4 others injured, metropolis officers stated.

The injured firefighters sustained various levels of burns and are receiving medical therapy, officers stated at a information convention Thursday evening outdoors Baltimore’s Shock Trauma Middle on the College of Maryland Medical System.

The Baltimore Hearth Division has confronted rising controversy in current months over its insurance policies and coaching after three firefighters died whereas battling a vacant rowhouse hearth early final yr. Native officers referred to as for extra oversight of the company and the division’s earlier chief resigned amid the turmoil.

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James Wallace, who was sworn in earlier this month as Baltimore’s new hearth chief, stated the blaze “appeared to quickly develop in depth” not lengthy after firefighters arrived on scene.

“Tonight, it’s with a heavy coronary heart that I need to announce one member has tragically perished because of his accidents,” he stated, declining to launch the firefighter’s identify pending subsequent of kin notification.

first responders at scene

First responders work at a scene following a lethal hearth on Oct. 19, 2023, in Baltimore. (Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Solar through AP))

The 2-alarm hearth broke out simply earlier than 4 p.m., officers stated. Footage from native tv stations confirmed a number of rowhouses engulfed in flames, with elements of the buildings collapsing and black smoke billowing from their home windows and roofs.

No civilian accidents have been reported and the reason for the fireplace stays below investigation.

Wallace stated no less than one of many buildings concerned seemed to be occupied. He stated investigators haven’t decided why the fireplace intensified so rapidly.

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“What I can let you know is, we attacked this hearth like we assault many fires,” he stated.

Hours earlier than officers publicly confirmed the firefighter’s demise, dozens of first responders gathered outdoors the Baltimore hospital for a salute. Many later accompanied a Baltimore Hearth Division ambulance in a sluggish procession by means of downtown.

“Firefighters are our residing superheroes, and we don’t anticipate to lose them,” Baltimore Metropolis Council President Nick Mosby stated through the information convention. “It’s a reminder of what firefighters do frequently to guard and serve our metropolis.”

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The January 2022 hearth that killed three firefighters prompted elevated scrutiny of Baltimore’s hearth division, which regularly is tasked with responding to treacherous circumstances when flames get away within the metropolis’s many vacant buildings.

A report launched months later pointed to quite a few deficiencies that would have positioned firefighters in pointless hazard when the three-story brick constructing collapsed. Amongst different points, it discovered there was no program in place to inform firefighters about vacant and unsafe buildings earlier than they made entry.

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