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Posted January 20, 2011 EST

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Lutherville Firefighter Mark Falkenhan Dies In Four Alarm Fire
A Lutherville volunteer firefighter died Wednesday night while battling a four-alarm apartment fire in Parkville, officials said. Mark Falkenhan, a 43-year-old husband and father of two, became trapped inside a third-story apartment and later died at St. Joseph Medical Center, Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.

Falkenhan, a member of the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company, had retired from the Baltimore County Fire Department and had worked for the Secret Service, Armacost said.

"He was well-known and well-liked," she said."He had a long history with the Baltimore County Fire Department as a career firefighter and as a volunteer," she said.

The initial call went out at 6:18 p.m. as a kitchen fire in the Towson Crossing apartment complex at 30 Dowling Circle and was quickly upgraded, Armacost said. About 20 minutes later, Falkenhan sent out a "mayday" distress call, Armacost said.

She said Falkenhan's partner leapt from the third-floor window and crews eventually found Falkenhan on a third-floor balcony.

Two Towson Crossing residents were critically hurt -- one woman with severe burns was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and a man was taken to Sinai Hospital, Armacost said.

The brick, three-story structure shares walls with five other apartment buildings. The complex was evacuated, though the fire was contained to the central building. It was still standing after the fire was extinguished, but the windows in the front were blown out.

Several residents from surrounding apartment buildings walked over to watch from behind yellow police tape.

About 30 people were displaced from the building, Armacost said.

The cause is under investigation, she said.

Written by The Baltimore Sun

Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix