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Battalion Chief Describes Rescue Effort To Save Firefighters Killed In Collapse

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The bodies of the three Baltimore City firefighters who died in the line of duty on Monday have been transferred to funeral homes in Harford and Baltimore counties.

Firefighters Lt. Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler, and Kenny Lacayo died while trying to extinguish a fire that was chewing away at an abandoned rowhome in the 200 block of South Stricker Street.

Battalion Chief Chris Hutson has been grappling with the fact that three of his firefighters died in a single house fire.

"It's just three terrific people, not only firefighters, just good people," Hutson said.

In an interview with WTOP's Megan Cloherty, Hutson shared vivid details of the conditions that Butrim, Sadler, and Lacayo fought through to the very end.

"I talked to somebody who was right back there with Kenny and he was pretty bad from the waist down and he was talking, but they just couldn't get him out—just couldn't get him out," Hutson said. "It took an hour plus to get him and Kelsey out and it took 10 hours to get Paul Butrim out."

On Wednesday, investigators with Baltimore fire and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were back at the scene with an evidence bag and they were focusing on an area several houses down from where the fire started.

They went through trash cans with a canine unit that could detect anything that's used to accelerate a fire. Investigators will try to determine if someone set it on purpose resulting in the death of three firefighters.

During Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting, Governor Larry Hogan acknowledged what has become one of the deadliest days in the Baltimore fire department's history with a moment of silence.

"I want to ask all Marylanders to keep all of the families and the entire Baltimore City fire department in their prayers," Hogan said.


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