Deaths of Three Baltimore Firefighters, Including Montgomery County Native Kenneth Lacayo, Ruled as Homicides

by Patrick Herron

Baltimore City Police is ruling the deaths of three Baltimore firefighters who were killed in the line of duty as homicides, according to WJLA. The incident occurred January 24, 2022, when the firefighters were tragically killed while fighting a row house fire. Lieutenant Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler & Firefighter/Paramedic Kenneth Lacayo were engaged in an interior attack of the fire when a significant portion of the home suddenly collapsed.

The Baltimore City Fire Union has released the following statement:

“Today, the ATF announced that the fire on Stricker St. that led to the deaths of three of our firefighters was incendiary. This news is bittersweet. It is a reopening of a terrible wound that is only in the earliest stages of healing, and we join in our brothers and sisters in our continued and shared bereavement. On the other hand, we now have confirmed our suspicions that this was a criminal act and are united in our assistance and support of law enforcement in their continuing investigation that will hopefully lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.”

Firefighter/Paramedic Kenneth Lacayo was a Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Life Member and graduated from Wheaton High School. In addition to his service with the Baltimore City Fire Department, Kenny had volunteered in Wheaton for almost 11 years.

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad released a statement remembering Kenny:

“Kenny joined the Rescue Squad in May of 2011 and steadily advanced through the ranks. He became a firefighter in 2012, a paramedic in 2014, and a founding member of the Honor Guard in 2017. Among his many awards he received the Rescue Squad’s award for paramedic of the year in 2016 and was recognized as a top ten responder in 2015 and 2016. He also received a unit citation in 2018 for his life saving actions in responding to a pedestrian struck by a car.
His exceptional skills as a firefighter and paramedic were matched by his bright smile and his unfailing good nature. He was dearly loved by his fellow WVRS volunteers and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kenny’s family, his many friends, and his brothers and sisters in the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service and the Baltimore City Fire Department.”

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad has also setup a GoFundMe page (a secure online fundraiser) to support Kenny’s family.


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