WASHINGTON — A day after tragically dying in the line of duty, Frederick County firefighter Josh Laird was honored with a special procession through the streets of D.C. on Thursday night.
Laird died on Wednesday while responding to a two-alarm house fire along the 9500 block of Ball Road.
While trying to help extinguish the flames, Captain Laird suddenly sent a mayday signal for help. Crews worked to extricate Laird from the fire. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, where he died.
On Thursday, several D.C. Fire & EMS trucks, as well as Metropolitan Police Department vehicles, gathered with the emergency lights on as Laird's body was transported from MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
The procession moved slowly as fellow officers saluted the passing vehicles.
Traffic was stopped along North Capitol Street as the line traveled nearly five miles to the D.C. Chief Medical Examiner's Office.
The procession occurred the same day fire departments and emergency responders around the country posted about Laird on social media.
One man who spoke to WUSA9 over the phone and said he knew Laird from training wrote, "Josh was the first person to share with me the harsh reality 'Each time you leave the station, you gotta be prepared to potentially not make it back.'"
Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday that U.S. and state flags in Maryland will fly at half-staff to honor Cpt. Laird. Flags will be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of the interment.
"Maryland has lost another of our true heroes—Captain Joshua Laird, a 21-year veteran of the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, lost his life in the line of duty yesterday while bravely responding to a fire in Ijamsville. On behalf of all Marylanders, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, his fellow firefighters, and to all those who loved him," Hogan said.
Laird had a wife and children, according to a fire department spokesperson.
A GoFundMe donation effort organized for the family had raised over $34,000 as of Thursday night.
A Meal Train also had gathered enough volunteers to provide meals to Laird's grieving family for at least the next month.