By FireRescue1 Staff
BALTIMORE — Baltimore Fire Chief Niles Ford has resigned from his position with the fire department, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Friday, according to WBALTV11.
The resignation, which is effective immediately, comes in the wake a report released today, detailing the Jan. 24 line-of-duty deaths of three Baltimore City firefighters – Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo – in a fire at a vacant rowhouse on Stricker Street.
Compiled by the fire department’s internal Board of Inquiry, the report makes recommendations for actions to prevent a similar tragedy, including the establishment of an accountability program to ensure the actions are properly implemented. Scott said he accepted Ford’s resignation in order to position BCFD for these changes.
[Read the report: 205 S. Stricker Street Board of Inquiry]
“There are no words or actions that will fill the void or ease the pain felt by the family, loved ones and colleagues of these three heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the people of Baltimore,” Scott said in a statement.
A group of BCFD commanders – Assistant Chief Charles Svehla, Assistant Chief Chris Caisse and Assistant Chief Dante Stewart – will be appointed to serve as acting fire chief on an interim basis, Scott said, while the city conducts a search for a new fire chief.
A separate report after the deadly incident indicated that the firefighters had not been alerted to the home’s history, specifically the fact that the rowhouse had been damaged in a 2015 fire.
Months after LODDs, Baltimore Fire starts program to mark unsafe vacant buildings
“The coordinated efforts to protect first responders, building engineers and others is vital,” Fire Chief Niles Ford said