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.