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Baltimore City Fire personnel gather after a fellow firefighter dies in the line of duty

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Posted at 10:42 PM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 11:26:37-04

BALTIMORE — They're the people we entrust with so much.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we run out of the burning building, they run in to make sure we're safe.

Now, they deal with the heartbreak and loss—the loss of a brother.

"Tonight it is with a heavy heart, that I must announce, one member has tragically perished as a result of his injuries," said James Wallace, the new Baltimore City Fire Chief, at a press conference outside the hospital Thursday night.

Four other firefighters suffered varying degrees of burns, the chief said.

READ MORE: A Baltimore City Firefighter died and 4 others were injured in NW Baltimore fire

Out of tragedy, a massive display of support and solemnness: dozens of fire personnel arrived Thursday night at the hospital.

Flags and fire axes were presented, the department members faced the hospital, silently saluting.

Later, the dozens gathered, followed a city fire ambulance and engine proceeding down Lombard Street.

The silence was deafening.

"I want to extend my love and my prayers to the families and victims of this tragic event, as well as to the members of the Baltimore City Fire Department," Wallace said to reporters.

Mayor Brandon Scott called for Baltimore City to support the victim's family.

The identity of the man the mayor called a 'hero' is unconfirmed as of Thursday night—the fire chief tells WMAR they need to notify next of kin.

"Each and every one of these firefighters put themselves in harm's way, and put all of our lives in Baltimore before theirs each and every day," Scott said Thursday.