During a solemn, annual tribute in Annapolis, Maryland, to honor firefighters lost in the line of duty, three firefighters from our region had their names added to a memorial wall Sunday.
Kenny Lacayo, Nicholas Finamore and Joshua Laird were all first responders from the D.C. metro area who died in 2021.
Lacayo was one of three firefighters who died battling a house fire in Baltimore. He also served with the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad.
“Losing him was tragic to all of us. He was one of our brothers and still is. We'll remember him forever. We're here to support his family, and we'll never forget him,” Master Firefighter Teddy Schrenk, of the Wheaton squad, said.
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“I was his shift commander,” Dante Stewart, the Baltimore City Fire Department assistant chief of fire operations, said. “Kenny was a very special individual. Every time I saw him, had a smile, loved his job, very dedicated.”
Finamore, who died from complications from COVID-19, was chief of the Allentown Road Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George’s County. He is survived by his son, a D.C. firefighter.
“I would have to attribute a lot of my success to his tutelage, watching him, his decision making skills, his calm demeanor,” his son, Charles Finamore, said.
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Michael Carbone met the chief when he was a 15-year-old volunteer in the county. He recalled the moment Finamore encouraged him in his career.
“I had came out of a fire, and he had walked up to me and said, ‘Great job young man.' He says, 'You’re going to go far in this department.’ So I later went on to became a Prince George's County paid firefighter, a career firefighter, and served 28 years,” Carbone said.
Finally, Laird was a captain with Frederick County, Maryland’s Division of Fire and Rescue Services. He died battling a house fire in Ijamsville.
“It’s important for the fire service in general to make sure that the community continues to remember Josh and the others that were recognized today for their service to their communities and the ultimate sacrifice that they made for others,” the department’s Fire Chief Tom Coe said.
During the yearly tradition meant to honor the fallen, another seven names were added to the memorial wall, keeping the commitment to never forget the ultimate sacrifice.