Angela Roberts and Trevor Baratko
The Frederick News-Post, Md.
Aug. 13–Frederick County fire crews and officials on Thursday continued to investigate the two-alarm fire that claimed the life of one of their own the day before.
Fire and rescue officials worked with incident management teams and partners across the state, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to investigate the Ijamsville blaze as well as make plans for the upcoming funeral of Capt. Joshua Laird, officials with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services announced Thursday evening.
Earlier in the day, Laird’s body was honorably transported from the Washington Hospital Center to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, FCDFRS said in a news release.
Laird, 46, received an escort from Engine 251 and Ambulance 259, along with FCDFRS Management, IAFF Local 3666, the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and various other law enforcement agencies.
A full procession, with honors, will bring him home to his family and local community for a funeral service, Thursday’s news release read. FCDFRS will release the date, time and location for the funeral once Laird’s family finalizes the plans, according to the release.
After responding to the house fire early Wednesday evening, Laird fell through the first floor into the basement, according to fire officials. Though he was immediately given medical care and transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, he died later that evening from injuries sustained in the fire, leaving behind a wife and two daughters.
The investigation into Laird’s death and the circumstances around the fire are ongoing.
Division of Fire and Rescue Services asked that people respect the privacy of the Laird family at this time. The division said it would release more information Friday afternoon.
Laird began his firefighting career as a volunteer at the Fairfield Township Volunteer Fire Company 1, located in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. He later joined FCDFRS in 2000 as part of Recruit Class 4, according to Thursday’s release, and was assigned to Green Valley Station 25 upon graduating. Over the next 21 years, he served at New Market Fire Company, Westview, Spring Ridge, United, Carroll Manor, Braddock Heights and as a safety officer, the release read.
“We are in constant contact with the Laird family and our DFRS families and are doing everything we can to make every resource available,” DFRS Chief Tom Coe said in the release. “This unexpected loss of a father, a husband, and a brother to firefighters across the nation, will have a lasting impact on the Frederick and Fairfield communities. We are and will be here for them now and in the future.”
On Thursday morning, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the U.S. flag and the Maryland state flag be lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen firefighter. The flag will be returned to full-staff at sunset on the day of interment, according to the governor’s office.
County Executive Jan Gardner late Wednesday said “words cannot describe” her heartbreak over the death.
“He touched many lives during his long career with Frederick County. We often take for granted the bravery our firefighters show every day,” Gardner said in a prepared statement. “Tonight, sadly, we are reminded of how dangerous the job really is. Josh is a hero. I ask everyone to keep his wife, children, the Laird family, and all of our firefighters, in their prayers during this most difficult time … The entire Frederick County family is profoundly and deeply saddened.”
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin added to the condolences Thursday morning, writing that he was crestfallen to learn of Capt. Laird’s death.
“His passing is a devastating loss for his wife and family – we owe them a debt of gratitude and honor,” he wrote on social media. “Captain Laird will never be forgotten.”
(c)2021 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)
Visit The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.) at www.fredericknewspost.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.