Baltimore Fire Lt. Paul Butrim and Firefighters Kelsey Sadler and Kenneth Lacayo died in the line of duty Monday while responding to an early morning fire that devolved into a partial building collapse on South Strickler Street.
Butrim, Sadler and Lacayo became trapped inside the three-story row house with another fellow firefighter, John McMaster, whose condition had improved from critical to fair as of Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” Chief Niles. R. Ford said in a statement late Monday.
Ford said Tuesday that McMaster was “conscious and alert.”
Speaking to local affiliate FOX Baltimore on Tuesday, Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said the Maryland Fire Service was “heartbroken.”
“It’s a tragic loss for all of us, because we’re family,” he said, sometimes fighting tears. “And we lost a lot of family yesterday.”
Firefighter Lacayo, who was also a paramedic, was a life member of the Wheaton, Maryland, Volunteer Rescue Squad, which he joined in 2011 and “steadily joined through the ranks,” according to a Facebook post from the squad.
He was a founding member of the squad’s Honor Guard and received commendations for work as a first responder in 2015, 2016 and 2018, the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc. said.
“His exceptional skills as a firefighter and paramedic were matched by his bright smile and his unfailing good nature,” the squad added. “He was dearly loved by his fellow WVRS volunteers and will be greatly missed.”
The group started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Lacayo’s family, and for funeral arrangements. As of Tuesday afternoon, the group had raised more than $ 21,000 of their $ 50,000 goal.
A loved one did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Tuesday.
Firefighter Sadler, also a paramedic, “wouldn’t take crap from anybody,” her friend Tracie Martinek told the Baltimore Sun. Martinek said Sadler became known as “the beast.”
Martinek said the pair worked together at the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Company, which confirmed that Sadler had served as a paramedic there “for several years.”