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Photo of the Baltimore County Fire Service Memorial Monument in Towson.The Baltimore County Fire Service’s annual Ceremony of Remembrance, which honors those members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, is scheduled for Sunday, May 21.

The ceremony will be held, rain or shine, at 2 p.m. at the Fire Service Memorial Monument in Patriot Plaza in Towson.

The Baltimore County Fire Department and Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman’s Association jointly organize the event.

Honoring Fallen Heroes

Forty-five Baltimore County firefighters and emergency medical personnel have died in the line of duty. These include 21 career members and 24 volunteer members.

Fire Chief John Hohman and other career and volunteer fire service leaders will honor the fallen by placing a wreath on the memorial shrine during the ceremony.

The shrine was built entirely with funds by members of the Fire Service. The memorial was sculpted in Portugal of Portuguese red granite, and consists of a Maltese cross flanked by two columns.

Inscribed on the monument are the names of the fallen and the words of Saint John, 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Today’s Fallen Heroes Day ceremony honored Captain William Miller and Fireman Carl Dill, two Baltimore County firefighters who died in the line of duty 62 years ago.

On February 7, 1955, in the early hours of the morning, units responded to the Westgate Shopping Center in the 5500 block of Old Edmondson Avenue for a report of a massive fire that was quickly growing. Clouds of smoke rose 150 feet into the air and flames threatened to spread to a nearby nursing home.

Captain Miller and Fireman Dill took a hose into the basement to target the source of the fire. The other hose team with them retreated from the basement to tackle the flames from an exterior position, and shortly after that the roof of the building collapsed.

  

   

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

When rescuers fought their way through debris looking for the missing men, they found Fireman Dill on his back, arms outstretched, with Captain Miller lying, face down, across his body. The speculation was that Captain Miller had been trying to carry his companion, who suffered broken bones, to safety.

At the time, Baltimore County Fire Chief Anthony Orban, described Captain Miller as the kind of man who never would leave a partner in trouble, and Fireman Dill as “absolutely fearless.”

The Fallen Heroes Day ceremony is held every year to honor Maryland's law enforcement officers, correctional officers and fire and EMS personnel who have given their lives in service to others.

Photo of house fire on Beech Avenue in Overlea.

A 34-year-old woman has died of injuries sustained last night in an Overlea house fire.

At 10:46 p.m., police and fire units were dispatched to the 6900 block of Beech Avenue, 21206 for a report of a dwelling fire. A neighbor observed visible flames coming from the home and called for help.

The first arriving police officers on the scene located a man on the porch roof and used a ladder provided by neighbors to assist him down to the ground.

Neighbors advised that there were still possibly two residents inside the home. Fire personnel were able to locate and extricate one adult woman from inside the house. It was determined the third resident was not home at the time of the fire and that all residents had been evacuated.

The woman, identified as Samantha Armstrong, was transported Priority 1 to Franklin Square Hospital, and then the trauma center at Bayview Medical Center. She was pronounced deceased at 2:05 a.m.

About 30 fire units fought this fire, including units from Baltimore City. Baltimore County’s Engine 7 was the first arriving and, along with Baltimore City’s Ladder 30 and Engine 56, played a leading role.

Detectives believe the fire began in the kitchen ceiling. Investigators are still working to determine the exact cause of the fire.

A second fire was reported in the vicinity at 9:38 p.m. at a vacant structure in the 7500 block of Belair Road. Fire investigators do not believe this is related to the Beech Avenue fire.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017