The death of a Baltimore County firefighter last year was caused by a confluence of "minor issues," according to the results of an investigation released Wednesday.
"The report leads me to conclude that while there is always room for improvement, there was no single cause, no single reason for this death," Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman wrote in a letter preceding the investigators' conclusions.
Mark Gray Falkenhan, 43, became the first Baltimore County firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than 25 years when he was trapped in a third-story apartment during a fire on Jan. 19, 2011, in Hillendale. Falkenhan was searching for residents when he was fatally injured in the fire, which was caused by a pot of oil on a stove in a lower-level apartment.
Radio noise hampered communication, and the burning apartments were in the middle of a long row of structures, delaying firefighters' full understanding of the fire conditions, the report concluded.