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Deaths of 3 Baltimore Firefighters Ruled Manslaughter, Stricker St. Fire Classified as Arson – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The deaths of three Baltimore firefighters, who were killed when a vacant row home partially collapsed, have been ruled a homicide, police said Wednesday.

The January fire that resulted in her death has been ruled an arson attack and a person of interest has been identified.

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Division, which is leading the investigation with other agencies, defines an incendiary fire as a fire that is started intentionally or spread into an area where the fire should not be.

Arson may not necessarily be intentional, but a direct result of other criminal activity.

“Fire classification is an important step forward in this case. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure a full and thorough investigation is completed,” said Toni M. Crosby, Special Agent in Charge for ATF Baltimore.

The person of interest to the investigation has been identified and no additional information from the public is required, the ATF said. The identity of the person has not been released.

“Although it was a tragedy, it will now become the focus of a homicide investigation,” said Michael Harrison, Baltimore City Police Commissioner.

On January 24, firefighters were called to a two-alarm fire at a row house on South Stricker Street. A partial building collapse trapped six firefighters inside

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Three firefighters – Lt. Paul Butrim, firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler and paramedic/firefighter Kenny Lacayo – were killed in the collapse.

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“When you have a fatality, especially a firefighter, you want to be sure you’re doing it right,” retired ATF fire investigator Robert Schaal told WJZ on Wednesday. “If you have an incendiary fire, that means it was set intentionally. There is human involvement.”

According to Schaal, these types of investigations are typically slow and can be complex. He says the fact that the fire started in a vacant building with previous fire damage complicates the investigation.

“He’s probably trying to dig into previous research to see if there are pictures, to know what was old and what’s new,” Schaal said.

John McMaster was seriously injured but was well enough to be discharged from shock trauma three days after the incident. McMaster threw down the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles’ home game on Monday.

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The investigations are ongoing.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/04/13/stricker-street-fire-deaths-determined-to-be-homicides/ Deaths of 3 Baltimore Firefighters Ruled Manslaughter, Stricker St. Fire Classified as Arson – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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