Maryland firefighter who died in the line of duty remembered for having ‘the best soul’

Firefighter Brice C. Trossbach. (Courtesy NAS Patuxent River)

Firefighters packed into the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department in Southern Maryland to attend the funeral of 25-year-old Brice Trossbach, who died after falling through the first floor of a burning home the morning of June 27.

At his funeral, Trossbach’s older brother Jared, a lieutenant with the Prince George’s County fire department, eulogized his younger sibling as a dedicated firefighter, best friend and ever-reliable brother.

“Whatever Brice did, he did 100%,” Jared Trossbach said.

Recalling his brother’s gift as a problem-solver, Jared Trossbach said, “Brice had the best soul. He could always make anyone laugh and was always levelheaded. When you saw the worst in a situation, he’d give you a positive.”

Naval District Washington fire department Chief Kevin Grinder fought back tears as he noted the outpouring of support for the Trossbach family and his fellow firefighters. “The last 10 days, my faith in humanity has been renewed, even though my heart has been broken,” Grinder said.

Scott “Scotty” Burkhardt, 5th District Chairman of the Professional Firefighters of Maryland, addressed the family and firefighters at the funeral and said, “I challenge each and every one of you to be a little bit more like Brice.” Using one of Trossbach’s favorite sayings, Burkhardt said, “As Brice always says, ‘It’s time to shine!’”

Cliff Montgomery, District Fire Chief with Naval District Washington-Naval Air Station Patuxent River, recounted how firefighters at the station got to sleep in the hours leading up to the early morning fire call at the house on Deer Wood Park Drive in Leonardtown as the “best part of the worst shift of their lives.”

Montgomery described how at 4:07 a.m., the day of the fire, the crew was alerted to the blaze and answered the call. Montgomery concluded his comments using Trossbach’s nickname “Brucie.” He told those gathered at the funeral, “Engine 132 arrived on the scene and Brucie turned around and said ‘We got work, boys.’”

Trossbach is survived by his parents, Warren and Diane Trossbach; his fiancee, Cheyenne Sederbaum; and his brother Jared, his wife Kaitlyn and their son Rhett. He was buried at Charles Memorial Gardens in Leonardtown.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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