A firefighter killed during an early morning fire Tuesday in East Baltimore was the first city firefighter to die in the line of duty since 1995, officials said.
Baltimore city joined the family of Allan Roberts in mourning the loss Tuesday. It didn't take long for people in the neighborhood where the fire happened to find out that the firefighter lost his life fighting the blaze.
"I'm just sorry for his family, that's awful," said one woman.
"It's a terrible shame, it really is," said another.
Allan Roberts had been with the Baltimore City Fire Department for 19 years. His fellow firefighters on Ladder Truck 26 said he was a man you could count on.
"He was the kind of guy that you didn't mind going into any fire with. You knew he'd be right there with you, and that he had your back," said firefighter Wayne Schmitt.
Anthony Carter said, "Allan Roberts was a good firefighter. If you were trapped inside a building, he was definitely one of the guys who would come and get you out."
Officials said Roberts was working overtime with another engine company Tuesday morning when he lost his life.
A father of four, his fellow firefighters said his two sons, two daughters and his job were what he lived for.
"His whole life was his kids, he adored the four of them. That and his job. But the main thing was to go home to his kids every night. He loved his kids," said Schmitt.
"Any one of these guys, we all take the same risks. It's the nature of the job. You never know, you just never know," David Fitzpatrick said while mourning the loss of his co-worker.
Roberts was a decorated firefighter. In 1994, officials said he was honored for saving the life of an infant.
He leaves behind his wife and four children. Roberts was 40 years old.
- October 10, 2006: One Firefighter Killed, Four People Injured In Fire
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