Baltimore Fire Fighter John McMaster was the only Fire Fighter to survive after a rowhouse partially collapsed in the early morning of Monday, January 24, 2022—burying him, Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Kenny Lacayo.
At 5:58 am January 24, 2022, Baltimore City Fire Department Engine 14 arrived at a home in Baltimore that was fully engulfed in flames. With reports of people trapped inside, Fire Fighters, including John McMaster, immediately initiated work to extinguish the blaze. John and his team entered the structure, and shortly after, the building collapsed trapping John and three other Fire Fighters inside the burning building. John was extracted and transported to Shock Trauma. He was in critical condition. Three other Fire Fighters were extracted. Two were pronounced at Shock Trauma and the last one was pronounced at the scene.
Miraculously, John survived and four days later was released from Shock Trauma to start his recovery. Waiting outside the hospital to greet him were roughly fifty Fire Fighters. "Among them was Battalion Chief Josh Fannon, President of Baltimore Fire Officers IAFF Local 964, “we were there primarily to support our brother getting out of the hospital to show him some hope, pay our respects to him, he’s going through something difficult.” Fannon said it was important for members of the City Fire Department to be there Thursday for McMaster, “we lined up like we do for funeral processions but it was to clap in support of him.”
“To see the brotherhood as the public saw today, the members lined up on the street….we are one big family and we are all suffering right now and hopefully that just gives a little bit of a smile to everybody and a little sigh of relief that things are gonna get better in the future,” Rich Langford, President of Baltimore Firefighters IAFF Local 734 said.
"Butrim and Sadler were with the fire department for 15 years, Lacayo was with the department for seven years. Lacayo was paramedic of the year in 2016 and in 2018, he and his unit received a citation for saving someone after a pedestrian was struck by a car. Butrim was recognized with a Valor Award in 2015 from Firehouse Magazine for rescuing an unconscious child trapped in a house fire and performing CPR until EMS units arrived. Fire Chief Niles Ford posthumously promoted Sadler to lieutenant.
John McMaster has served the citizens of Baltimore on the Baltimore City Fire Department for six years. He has been a member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick for over 20 years and is a member of the Metropolitan Baltimore Fire Emerald Society.
“Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect,” Mayor Brandon Scott said. 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."
We salute EMT/Fire Fighter John McMaster, Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Kenny Lacayo for their bravery and courage, and dedicating their lives to saving others. They are an inspiration to all, and we are grateful for their service and sacrifice. Thank you from a truly grateful citizenry.
Source: "Baltimore Firefighter John McMaster Released From Hospital," CBS Baltimore, Channel 13, By Annie Rose Ramos, 1/27/22
Source: Dan Mead, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, 2/4/22