CLARKSVILLE, Md. -- A firefighter died after falling through the floor of a Howard County home while responding to a 7-alarm fire in Clarksville, Maryland early Monday morning.
Shortly before 2 a.m., fire crews received a call for a possible lightning strike at a home in the 7000 block of Woodscape Drive.
When they arrived to the scene, smoke filled the air. There were three residents inside, but fire officials said they were able to exit safely. Fire crews determined that lightning caused the fire.
Crews began to aggressively attack the fire from the inside. Around 2:20 a.m., one of the firefighters, Nathan Flynn, 34, fell through the floor of the home and landed in the basement. A 'mayday' was issued and another fire team entered the home to rescue the injured firefighter.
About 20 minutes later, the rescue team found Flynn after battling heavy flames. He was transported to Howard County General Hospital in critical condition.
Fire officials said the firefighter succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. At 5:30 a.m., officials notified some family members of Flynn's death. His body is at the medical examiner's office.
He was a 13-year veteran with River Park Fire Station in Howard County. He is survived by his wife and children.
“We grieve together as a community”, said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We are reminded of the risks and dangers faced by our all our first responders every day. We want the Flynn family and the fire department family to know, that we are here to support them in every way possible.”
“Today is a tough day in Howard County”, said Deputy Fire Chief William Anuszewski. “As a firefighter we know there are inherent risks, we know there is a possibility for this, we just hope it never comes.”
Our Baltimore CBS affiliate, WJZ, reports that the home belongs to Dr. Janet Siddigui. She is currently running for Howard County council.
Dr. Siddiqui is a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins and has lived in Howard County District-4 for over 35 years, according to her campaign site.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation The estimated cost of damages is unknown.
Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered the flags to fly at half-staff to honor Flynn.
In a tweet Howard County fire officials, he is the sixth line of duty death in the county and the first career firefighter line of duty death.
PHOTOS: Fire crews battle 7-alarm fire in Howard County
Fire officials are working with the family on the details of the funeral. They plan to release any additional information in this incident when it's available.
"Our job now, is to make sure that, for his family, our brother is laid to rest with dignity”, said International Association of Firefighters Local 2000 President Rich Ruehl. “It’s also our job to take care of his family, forever. They’re ours now, and they always will be.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this story erroneously said the home was valued at $1.2 million. That number could not be verified. We regret the error.