LODD: Md. firefighter dies from injuries sustained at house fire

A Frederick County fire official said Captain Joshua Laird, 46, issued a mayday after falling through the floor into the basement

Update on 8/12 at 9:22 a.m. CT

Mary Grace Keller
The Frederick News-Post, Md.

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — A Frederick County fire department captain died after falling through the floor of a house that caught fire in Ijamsville Wednesday night, according to officials.

Joshua Laird, 46, of Green Valley Fire Station dedicated more than 21 years to the fire service before his death Wednesday, Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services Chief Tom Coe said.

"The void that he leaves behind will never be filled," Coe said in a late-night news conference at DFRS headquarters.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the 9500 block of Ball Road for a house possibly struck by lightning after a severe storm passed through the area around 5 p.m., Deputy Chief Steve Leatherman told reporters on scene earlier in the day. Firefighters saw heavy fire coming from the roof and requested additional personnel, he said.

Green Valley firefighters were the first to arrive on scene.

"The crew from [Green Valley] made entry into the home, and shortly after a mayday was transmitted," Coe said.

During the initial attack on the blaze, a firefighter fell through the floor of the house around 5:07 p.m., according to Leatherman.

Once Laird was rescued from the building, Coe said paramedics immediately began advanced life support. He was flown to MedStar by Maryland State Police helicopter.

Coe requested everyone give the Laird family and firefighters privacy as they cope with the loss of a "beloved husband, father, son, friend and mentor."

Rick Harcum, chief administrative officer for Frederick County government, said there is an active investigation ongoing, but he did not offer further details.

Coe and Harcum did not take questions.

"Today, tragedy has befallen our family," Stephen Jones, president of the Career Firefighters and Paramedics, IAFF Local 3666, wrote to the News-Post. "While we are keenly aware of the dangers of our profession, every day we put on our uniform with the hope that we will safely return home. We stand ready to support the Laird family, and each other, as we grieve this loss."


(c)2021 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)

Update on 8/11 at 9:32 p.m. CT

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — A Frederick County captain died from injuries sustained after falling through the floor of a house fire into the basement, The Secret List reported. The captain was identified as Josh Laird.

Original reporting:

By Janelle Foskett

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — A firefighter was seriously injured Wednesday during a house fire in the Ijamsville area.

Frederick County Deputy Fire Chief Steven Leatherman said the firefighter fell through the floor into the basement, reported 7NewsDC. The firefighter called a mayday, and firefighters initiated a rescue operation. The firefighter was then loaded onto a stretcher and into a helicopter for transport to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, which has a burn unit.

In dispatch audio reportedly from the incident, a man can be heard saying, "Tell my family I love them."

Leatherman said an initial investigation suggests the house fire was caused by a lightning strike.

Kevin Lewis of 7NewsDC reported that there are no hydrants on the rural road where the fire occurred.

This is a developing story.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2023 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.