25-yr-old volunteer firefighter in critical condition

REISTERSTOWN, Md. - A 25-year-old volunteer firefighter is now in critical condition after working at a 3-alarm fire in Reisterstown  early Wednesday morning.

Gene Kirchner was one of the initial crews that responded and was found unconscious on the 2nd floor.  Rescue crews had to take him out. A mayday was called during the fire.

Reisterstown firefighter Gene KirchnerHe was taken to Northwest Hospital and is now at Shock Trauma.

Kirchner , and has been with the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company for 8 years. In addition to being a volunteer firefighter, Kirchner is an employee of Butler Medical Transport.

"He's (Kirchner) a kindhearted person who goes out of his way to help anybody," says Butler Medical Transport Chief Operating Officer William Rosenberg.

"He's there, no matter what you need, regardless of what he's doing," Rosenberg said.

About 60 firefighters were called to the scene on Hanover Road in Reisterstown. Four people were displaced by the fire and are being assisted by The American Red Cross.

Initial responding crews did not hear smoke detectors. ATF crews also responded to the scene.

Read another story of another volunteer firefighter hero here .


Fighting fires is a dangerous profession. Several thousand firefighters have died keeping the public safe since the U.S. Fire Administration began tracking stats in 1977. Below is a glance at the data from 2011 provided in 2012.

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