Howard Co. firefighter dies battling 7-alarm house fire in Clarksville

A Howard County firefighter was killed while battling a massive seven-alarm fire in Clarksville, Maryland. Three people were able to escape the house safely.

WASHINGTON — A Howard County firefighter has died from injuries sustained while battling a massive seven-alarm house fire in Clarksville, Maryland, that officials said might have been started by a lightning strike.

The firefighter has been identified as Nathan Flynn, 34, a 13-year-veteran of the department.

“He was a heck of a firefighter,” said William Anuszewski, the deputy chief of the Howard County Fire Department, during a news conference Monday. “He loved the fire service. He loved his family — both his fire department family and his home family.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan paid his respects on Twitter and ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Flynn.

Flynn is the sixth firefighter and the first career firefighter to die in the line of duty in Howard County.

“This is the first time we have had to deal with this in Howard County and, honestly, we don’t know what to do right now,” said Richard Ruehl, the president of the Howard County Professional Firefighters Association.

“The fact we have the resources we do to be able to figure this all out as we’re going is an immense, immense support and appreciation for us,” he said at the news conference, fighting back tears.

Members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office in Baltimore and the state fire marshal’s office were on hand to assist the Howard County Fire Department.

Flynn was part of the response to a fire early Monday morning in the 7000 block of Woodscape Drive near Guildford Road.

Anuszewski said crews responded to the call a little before 2 a.m.

As firefighters were making their way inside the structure, Flynn fell through the floor from the first floor to the basement.

A mayday call was made immediately and a rapid intervention team was deployed to find Flynn. After about 20 minutes, the intervention team found and removed Flynn in the basement while battling heavy fire conditions, Anuszewski said at a news conference.

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died from his injuries at 5:30 a.m.

The fire required a massive response to be put out. It was a seven-alarm fire with firefighters from Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery and Carroll counties in Maryland were called in to help get the fire under control.

The fire was finally brought under control a little after 10:15 a.m.

While officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, Assistant Chief Daniel Merson told reporters that it might have been started by a lightning strike.

Property records show the $1.2 million house is owned by Janet Siddiqui, a Howard County politician who is running for county council.

Three people who were inside the home were able to make it out safely.


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