Families of Baltimore LODD Fire Announce Suit Against City

The families of three Baltimore firefighters who died while battling a fire in a rowhouse last January, have publicly announced their plans to file suit against the city, the mayor and the fire department. The firefighters, Kenny Lacayo, Paul Butrim and Kelsey Sadler were caught in a collapse on Strickler Street. A fourth firefighter, John McMaster, was critically injured.

The suit reportedly alleges negligence against the city for failing to secure and/or demolish the structure where the fire occurred.

News coverage of the claims refer to both the “intent to file a lawsuit” and the actual filing of the lawsuit. I was not able to verify with the courts that a suit has been filed as of this moment. When a complaint becomes available, it will be posted here. WBAL-TV quoted attorney Kevin Stern as saying:

“Kenny Lacayo, Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler (and) John McMaster walked into a death trap in January of this year. This is something that shouldn’t ever have occurred, something that should have and could have been prevented, and, more importantly, the city had the resources and programs available to protect our public servants from this very thing from happening. It didn’t.”

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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