|Thursday, January 20, 2011 – Jenny Glick|
|A Baltimore County volunteer firefighter from Lutherville was killed and two residents were injured in a four-alarm blaze that ripped through an apartment building in Parkville Wednesday evening.
The dead firefighter is identified as Mark Faulkenhan, 43, a married father of two from Middle River. He retired from Baltimore County as a paramedic several years ago.
Just after 6 p.m. firefighters were called to a blaze at 930 Dowling Circle. The first units to arrive had fire showing in the 12-unit apartment building and there were reports of multiple people trapped. Several people were rescued according to one fire chief.
Sources says a distress call was signalled, and other firefighters rushed to the rescue. Faulkenhan was found inside, pulled from the building, and taken to St. Joseph Medical Center.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed his “heartfelt sympathies to our fallen hero and his family as well as to our larger firefighter family.”
Baltimore County Fire Chief John Hohman said preliminary information indicated that a fire ignited in a basement kitchen, but conditions were too intense for firefighters to enter the building immediately.
“The fire was knocked and crews moved to the second and third floors to search for any possible victims,” Hohman said. “A flashover occurred. One firefighter escaped successfully, one firefighter succumbed to his injuries at the hospital and passed away.”
“I just left the hospital, and we lost a firefighter this evening at this scene,” Hohman said. “I knew him personally. (I) met him on his first day on the job when he came to work with us. He was a friend and he a great person.”
Fire officials said a person was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital’s burn center in Baltimore, and another person was taken to Sinai Hospital with unknown injuries.
An investigation continued Wednesday night.
“We have an inherently dangerous profession,” Hohman said. “We will pull together and we will make certain that our all procedures were followed, and if not, (we will identify) what we can learn from this.”
Falkenhan is survived by a wife and two children.
“It’s a tragedy this man died in the line of duty saving lives,” Kamenetz said. “It’s a sad day for Baltimore County, but we’re very appreciative of our firefighters and their efforts and the job that they did fighting this fire, and we’re very sad for this loss that we have suffered.”