A devastating house fire on Lake Shore Drive in Dunkirk, on March 9, 2015, showed what our local citizens can do in times of emergency.
Retired Prince Georges County Fire Department Assistant Chief Thomas “Tom” Breen was heading home, when intuition caused him to follow a trail of black smoke to his neighbor’s home. Upon arriving, he saw the house fully engulfed, forced entry in the front door, and crawled through the smoke and heat. The first time he was unsuccessful in finding anyone, so he tried again and found his neighbor unresponsive at the bottom of a stairway. He carried her to the front door and was met by Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department firefighters, who assisted Breen in getting the neighbor out of the
Tom Breen then began CPR on the victim, along with off-duty Prince George’s County Fire Department Lieutenant Chris “CJ” Smart. Before being transported, the victim regained a pulse.
Lt CJ Smart was at home that day, after welcoming the birth of his second son, when he saw black smoke coming from his neighbor’s home. He responded immediately to the scene and joined Tom Breen in performing CPR.
The two Prince George’s Fire Department showed incredible bravery, quick
thinking, and fearlessness, helping their community. It reminds the community that a firefighter is never off duty and everyday heroes live among us in our community.
Fire, Rescue, EMS companies responded to the fire from Dunkirk and Anne Arundel County. The first arriving engine was staffed with Driver Matt Montgomery Jr, Sgt Matt Montgomery, Firefighter Ben White, and Firefighter Cadet Matt Shrawder. White and Shrawder assisted in helping get the victim out of the burning house. Additional Fire-Rescue-EMS members, EMT Sydney Hill, Paramedic Chief Steve Stanton and Paramedic Trevor Gaefcke began additional life saving measures.
To all of these firefighters, rescue personnel and EMS members, The Calvert Board of County Commissioners proclaimed its deep gratitude and appreciation for their exemplary illustration of bravery and goodwill. May health and happiness always be your reward.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon