Fire chief plunges to his death in burning basement of home after floor collapses

A Maryland fire department captain died after he fell through the floor and into the basement of a burning home engulfed by flames believed to have been caused by a lightning strike.

As he was trapped in the burning home on Wednesday, Joshua Laird, 46, of the Green Valley Fire Station in Frederick County, radioed to his colleagues, asking them to ‘tell my family I love them.’

The news of Laird’s death was first reported by WJLA-TV.

Laird, a 21-year veteran of the station, responded to a report of a fire at a home in the 9500 block of Ball Road in Ijamsville, a town that lies about 45 miles west of Baltimore.

Joshua Laird, 46, of the Green Valley Fire Station in Frederick County, Maryland, died after responding to a fire in Ijamsville, a town about 45 miles west of Baltimore

Joshua Laird, 46, of the Green Valley Fire Station in Frederick County, Maryland, died after responding to a fire in Ijamsville, a town about 45 miles west of Baltimore

Joshua Laird, 46, of the Green Valley Fire Station in Frederick County, Maryland, died after responding to a fire in Ijamsville, a town about 45 miles west of Baltimore

Laird, a 21-year veteran of the station, responded to a report of a fire at a home in the 9500 block of Ball Road in Ijamsville, a town that lies about 45 miles west of Baltimore

Laird, a 21-year veteran of the station, responded to a report of a fire at a home in the 9500 block of Ball Road in Ijamsville, a town that lies about 45 miles west of Baltimore

Laird, a 21-year veteran of the station, responded to a report of a fire at a home in the 9500 block of Ball Road in Ijamsville, a town that lies about 45 miles west of Baltimore

A severe storm had passed through the area that afternoon, leading fire officials to suspect that a lightning strike may have been to blame for the blaze

A severe storm had passed through the area that afternoon, leading fire officials to suspect that a lightning strike may have been to blame for the blaze

A severe storm had passed through the area that afternoon, leading fire officials to suspect that a lightning strike may have been to blame for the blaze

A severe storm had passed through the area that afternoon, leading fire officials to suspect that a lightning strike may have been to blame for the blaze.

Firefighters saw heavy fires and smoke emanating from the roof and asked for backup, according to The Frederick News-Post.

Laird and his comrades from the Green Valley Fire Station arrived on the scene.

‘The crew from [Green Valley] made entry into the home, and shortly after a mayday was transmitted,’ Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services Chief Tom Coe said.

Initial reports of a fire came in at around 4:45pm. The strength of the blaze was such that it was still burning at 6:30pm. 

Initial reports of a fire came in at around 4:45pm. The strength of the blaze was such that it was still burning at 6:30pm

Initial reports of a fire came in at around 4:45pm. The strength of the blaze was such that it was still burning at 6:30pm

Initial reports of a fire came in at around 4:45pm. The strength of the blaze was such that it was still burning at 6:30pm

A local union representing firefighters mourned Laird in a public statement

A local union representing firefighters mourned Laird in a public statement

A local union representing firefighters mourned Laird in a public statement

Deputy Chief Steve Leatherman said a firefighter fell through the floor of the home at 5:07pm.

First responders pulled Laird from the burning house and immediately began attempts to resuscitate him.

He was then flown by Maryland State Police helicopter to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.

The fire is under investigation.

‘Today, tragedy has befallen our family,’ Stephen Jones, president of the Career Firefighters and Paramedics, IAFF Local 3666, wrote to the News-Post. 

‘While we are keenly aware of the dangers of our profession, every day we put on our uniform with the hope that we will safely return home. 

‘We stand ready to support the Laird family, and each other, as we grieve this loss.’ 

Link hienalouca.com

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