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Union President remembers fallen firefighters in Stricker Street tragedy

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 17:16:16-05

BALTIMORE — Through a conversation with the president of a Baltimore City fire fighters union, WMAR-2 News is getting a look at the impact the loss of the three firefighters is having on the department.

"This has been the toughest few days of my career as probably many of our memberships' careers,” said Rich Langford, the president of Baltimore City Firefighters local union 734.

It’s been a tough stretch of days for Baltimore City firefighters, the community and the families of the fallen heroes.

"Their lives were turned upside down in a matter of a few minutes on Monday morning. This fire was no different than any other fire we fight on the daily basis in this city just something went wrong that day in there,” Langford said.

The firefighter deaths from a partial collapse of a vacant home left a hole in the hearts of so many.

Langford knew each of the fallen fire fighters well first taking time to remember Kelsey Sadler.

"She is one of the toughest woman that a lot of us know in this department. She's one of the best fire fighters we have in this department,” he shared.

Just days after her passing and 15 years of service, she was promoted to lieutenant.

"A lot of people remember her as the best damn hose stretcher there is. I'll put her up against most of the guys in the department,” Langford remembered.

He says Kenny Lacayo was well on his way to becoming one of Baltimore's best fire fighters in his 7 years of service.

"He wanted to better his career and get more experience and transferred to Engine 14 hadn’t been there very long, had a fire Saturday night I believe,” shared Langford.

And there was 16-year veteran Lieutenant Paul Butrim who he became close with over the years battling blazes together.

"We fought a lot of fires together. Paul was a great guy. He wanted to do the job. He wanted to work. He just transferred to Truck 23 not long ago, He wanted to go there and be busy and do truck work again, what he loved doing,” he said.

Aside from offering prayers and moral support to their families, Langford asks those in the community to donate to a fund they created to support the trio's loved ones.

You can visit the GoFundMe page here.

“It's not going to help them recover, its not going to bring their loved ones back but it could help them just a little bit,” said Langford.