Three Baltimore firefighters killed, one injured in row house collapse while trying to save lives

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BALTIMORE, MD – Three Baltimore firefighters are dead and a fourth is hospitalized in fair condition after they became trapped in a collapsed row house while attempting to put out a fire Monday morning.

Lt. Paul Butrim, firefighter Kelsey Sadler and firefighter Kenny Lacayo died while battling the blaze at the vacant row house.

Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement:

“Today, Baltimore has lost three of the bravest among us: Lt. Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler, and EMT/Firefighter Kenny Lacayo.

All made the ultimate sacrifice. For that, Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect…

“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.”

Firefighters were responding to the  2-alarm fire at the vacant home in the 200 block of South Stricker Street at 6:00am when the structure collapsed, according to Mayor Scott.

Fire Chief Niles Ford said one firefighter was immediately pulled out and the other three remained trapped. He said crews removed piles of debris in order to locate the trapped members.

Shock Trauma chief physician Thomas Scalea said two of the firefighters died of cardiac arrest at the scene.

A fourth EMT/Firefighter, John McMaster, remains at the hospital in critical but stable condition.

McMaster was upgraded to fair condition on Tuesday, with Baltimore Chief Ford describing him as “conscious and alert”:

“He was able to speak and we were able to talk to him. We prayed with him and we’re very optimistic about his condition and him getting out of the hospital soon.”

Chief Ford added:

“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.”

Three Baltimore firefighters killed, one injured in row house collapse while trying to save lives

Lt. Butrim was a 16-year veteran of the department. Sadler spent 15 years with the department and Lacayo was with the department for seven years.

Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered flags lowered to half-staff in honor of Baltimore’s fallen heroes:

“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.”

According to local media, the last time Baltimore lost a firefighter in the line of duty was in 2014, when veteran firefighter Lt. James Bethea fell through a hole in the floor of a vacant home and died of smoke inhalation.

Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci, one of the federal, state, and city agencies investigating the blaze, said a cause may be hard to find:

“There’s a lot of damage to the structure. We may not be able to determine a cause.”

Investigators scoured the neighborhood looking for any surveillance footage that may have captured anyone entering or leaving the property before the fire. The building had no electric service, so the cause remains undetermined.

Investigators are also reportedly researching a 2015 fire at the same location. That fire left three firefighters injured.

WBAL 11 News I-Team tracked down the owners of the property to Pennsylvania. A relative of the building’s owner, Jeffery Shore, reportedly blamed the city for the fire:

“It’s sad three people lost their (lives) because the city didn’t do their job keeping squatters away. My relatives shouldn’t have left the property abandoned.”

The BCFD Foundation Inc. is accepting donations for the fallen firefighters. All donations will provide financial support to the families of any BCFD firefighter or paramedic who suffers a serious injury or death while still an active member of the department.

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LET Unity

Indicted Baltimore DA Mosby claims she’s being targeted (by black federal prosecutor) because she’s black

January 15, 2022

 

The editorial comments in this article are the opinions of the writer.

BALTIMORE, MD- When all fails, pull out the race card. Such is the case of Baltimore district attorney Marilyn Mosby, who was indicted on federal charges related to lying about being adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic where she borrowed money on her pension fund.

The indictment, from a federal grand jury, charges her with two counts each of perjury and making false statements on loan applications, according to The Washington Post.

At a Friday news conference, Mosby professed her innocence, instead claiming that she is a victim of a retaliation campaign for her stance on criminal justice reform and her ill-fated charging of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddy Gray back in 2015.

“I am innocent of the charges that have been levied against me, and I intend to fight with every ounce of energy within my being to prove my innocence and to clear my name,” Mosby said in a prepared statement.

She refused to take questions from reporters.

In a tweet from Justin Fenton of The Baltimore Sun,  he said Mosby nearly broke down as she described “obstacles she has faced.”

“I will fight these charges with everything I have in me, and I will be victorious…No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I’m built for this, and I will not be distracted from doing my job.”

The charging documents, which were unsealed Thursday, accuse Mosby of withdrawing substantial sums of money from her city retirement account in 2020 not once, but twice.

The money was withdrawn under a Cares Act provision meant for people struggling financially in the pandemic, despite the fact Mosby suffered no such hardship, and in fact received an increase in pay.

The funds were used for a down payment on two rental properties, one in Kissimmee, Florida and the other in Longboat Key, also in Florida.

The documents reveal that Mosby was dishonest on loan applications for the two properties, failing to disclose she and her husband owed significant sums in unpaid federal taxes, while also violating the terms of a “second home rider” she signed whereby she hired a management company to rent out the Kissimmee property, the Post said.

After the charges against Mosby were announced, here attorney, A. Scott Bolden called the accusations “bogus” and “rooted in personal, political and racial animus five months from her election.”

The “racial animus” charge seems absurd, given the fact that Mosby’s charges were brought by a black U.S. attorney who was appointed by Joe Biden.

In a tweet, Fenton of The Baltimore Sun noted that Erek Barron, the U.S. attorney “was a Democratic elected official in the General Assembly who worked with Mosby and is also the first Black Maryland US Attorney in the office’s 23-year history.”

 

In Mosby’s Friday statement, she said she thought it important that Baltimore residents hear from her directly.

“I am here before you today to state unequivocally that I am innocent,” she said.

“…I wanted the people from Baltimore to hear it from me: I’ve done nothing wrong. I did not defraud anyone to take my money from my retirement savings, and I did not lie on any mortgage application.”

The federal investigation came after a seven month inquiry, The Post said, by the city’s inspector general, who was looking into Mosby’s travel, personal businesses and gifts, a report which was released last February.

Mosby is among a number of far-left idealogues put into office with the assistance of billionaire George Soros’s deep pockets. Her claim to “fame” was the indictment of six Baltimore officers in the Gray death, a black man who died in Baltimore police custody.

Mosby was believed by many to have charged the officers to make a name for herself, and came after unrest in Baltimore after Gray’s death. Some believed she did so in order to calm tensions in the city.

However Mosby ended up with egg on her face after all of the officers either were exonerated or had their charges dismissed. That led to further criticism of Mosby, with some criticizing her for prosecutorial overreach.

Mosby took Friday’s statement as an opportunity to pat herself on the back.

“As a black woman, a lawyer, a wife and a mother looking to serve my community, I sought elected office because I knew that there was so much more we could be doing to bridge the divide between the criminal justice system and the communities that we are entrusted to serve,” she said.

Mosby further claimed her decision to charge the Baltimore officers came against the advice of the U.S. attorney’s office (which appears to have been correct advice) and claims since that time she’s had “a target on my back,” The Post said.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland said it had no comment on Mosby’s charges against the office.

Mosby claimed Friday she offered to prove her innocence against the charges, saying she could have presented exculpatory evidence to the grand jury; however the U.S. Attorney and lead prosecutor refused her request.

“Please don’t be fooled, we are now five months from my next election and this indictment is merely a political ploy by my political adversaries to unseat me,” Mosby said. “…I will never let that happen without a fight.”
 

 

 

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