A second Baltimore firefighter has died after battling rowhouse fire
BALTIMORE (AP) — A second Baltimore firefighter has died from injuries sustained while battling a rapidly intensifying blaze that engulfed multiple rowhouses in northwest Baltimore last week, a city official said.
Lt. Dillon Rinaldo was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after the fire Thursday afternoon. He later succumbed to his injuries, Baltimore City Hall spokesperson Bryan Doherty confirmed Wednesday morning.
Rinaldo joined the department in 2017, according to a city database.
In the hours after the fire, officials announced the death of Rinaldo’s colleague, firefighter Rodney Pitts III, who had one year of service with the department. A funeral for Pitts is scheduled for Friday.
Three other firefighters were also injured. Their updated conditions were not immediately available, but officials said Friday that two had been released from the hospital.
Baltimore Fire Chief James Wallace said during a Friday news conference that the investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing.
At that time, Wallace said, Rinaldo remained in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center’s burn center.
Wallace said fire officials and the city’s mayor visited the hospital and met with Rinaldo’s parents and fiancée, describing them as “beautiful people, deeply hurt, much like our members are, but they know we’re wrapping our arms around them and we’re going to provide them with the support that they need.”
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott also said he spoke with Pitts’ family and learned that he loved working for the department.
“He was so excited and so proud to be a firefighter in his town,” he said.
The Baltimore Fire Department has faced growing controversy in recent months over its policies and training after three firefighters died while battling a vacant rowhouse fire early last year. Local officials called for additional oversight of the agency and the department’s previous leader resigned amid the turmoil.
The fire last Thursday intensified rapidly while firefighters were battling it from inside a building, officials have said.