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.
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
City Councilman Mark Conway
City Councilman Eric Costello
City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett
City Councilwoman Odette Ramos
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
U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin
U.S. Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger
Anne Arundel County County Executive Steuart Pittman
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball
State Senator Jill Carter
Del. Brooke Lierman
Del. Luke Clippinger
Del. Marlon Amprey
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