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“Person of interest” reward in Md. fatal fire probe is $100K

January 29, 2022 GMT
Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BALTIMORE (AP) — A reward initially offered by federal authorities seeking a “person of interest” in its investigation of a vacant rowhome fire in Baltimore that left three firefighters dead has soared to $100,000 with additional pledges.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced on Friday a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identification of someone captured on surveillance cameras last Sunday evening around the scene on Monday’s fire. ATF has been investigating the fire’s cause and origin.

Since the announcement, pledges from the state of Maryland, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and two firefighter unions grew the reward tenfold.

Scott said he matched the original “so that we can bring justice to the families of the fearless men and women ... we lost this week,” The Baltimore Sun reported. As the total reward reached $50,000, Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Saturday the state was doubling that amount.

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Four firefighters were battling the blaze inside the home when part of the three-story building collapsed, Baltimore fire Chief Niles Ford has said. Two firefighters were pronounced dead at the hospital and another at the scene. Ford identified those killed as Lt. Paul Butrim, firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo. A fourth firefighter who was injured was released from a hospital Thursday.