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Baltimore City

ATF still searching for ‘person of interest’ in vacant rowhouse fire that killed three Baltimore firefighters

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives published a video Friday of a man considered to be a “person of interest” in a deadly Baltimore fire and whom the agency, city and state officials are offering a combined $100,000 reward to find.

The video shows a man wearing a hoodie walking near South Stricker Street around 11:35 p.m. Jan. 23. Hours later, Baltimore firefighters were called to 205 S. Stricker St. and entered an abandoned house to extinguish a heavy blaze. The vacant rowhouse collapsed minutes later, killing Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler and firefighter/paramedic Kenny Lacayo. John McMaster, a firefighter/EMT, was injured and survived.

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Agencies continue to investigate the origin and cause of the fire, including the Maryland State Fire Marshal. The “on-scene” portion of the investigation concluded last week and the structures that burned in the fire were demolished, Amanda Hils, a spokesperson for ATF Baltimore Field Division, said Friday.

ATF offered a $10,000 reward four days after the fire for information on the identity and whereabouts of the man. The reward money swelled quickly to $100,000 with pledges from Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., the state of Maryland, and two local firefighter unions.

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ATF originally circulated a photograph of the man captured from surveillance camera footage. Three weeks later, the agency is still searching for the man and posted a 40-second video of him walking down a street that ATF declined to identify. The agency did not have the full video until Friday, Hils said.

Without the public’s help sharing the video of the man, investigators “cannot spread the word and increase the likelihood of getting critical information needed in this and other investigations,” Hils said in a statement. She declined to say whether the man is a suspect in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the person being sought or the fire is asked to call investigators at 888-ATF-TIPS or by emailing ATFtips@atf.gov.


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