Firefighters raise $2,100 for family Comrade was killed in Baltimore blaze

October 01, 1995|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Firefighters at a recent international rescue competition in Canada that included a team from Howard County raised more than $2,100 in a raffle for the family of a firefighter killed in the Clipper Industrial Park fire in Baltimore on Sept. 16.

The firefighters had gathered last week in Ontario for Extrication '95, in which firefighters are tested on their ability to rescue people from wrecked cars, buses or airplanes.

"It was very emotional," said Lt. Charles Sharpe, who was one of six firefighters from Howard County who attended the competition. Concern for the firefighter's family "was heartfelt by everybody who was there."

The idea for the raffle came as firefighters exchanged paraphernalia from their local fire departments, including jackets and helmets, a traditional part of such gatherings.

Firefighters decided to raffle some of the most popular items and give the money to the family of Eric D. Schaefer of Baltimore, who was killed when a wall collapsed during the fire that destroyed the historic mill building in North Baltimore.

The raffle followed a tearful opening ceremony, during which the 25 teams of firefighters from six countries were told of Mr. Schaefer's death. Firefighters sold almost 600 raffle tickets.

Howard County firefighters attended last week's event as the top competitors from the mid-Atlantic region, having defeated teams from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware.

But the team failed to rank in the international competition, which included an event in which firefighters used hand tools, such as hacksaws and chisels, to extricate a victim from a vehicle and another in which they used power tools popularly known as the "Jaws of Life."

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