Dec. 10—As the family of fallen firefighter Battalion Chief Joshua Laird copes with the loss of a beloved father and husband, one less burden they'll have to bear is the cost of a home mortgage.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which supports the nation's first responders, veterans and the families they leave behind — paid the Laird family's mortgage in full, according to a news release from the organization. The 20-year-old foundation is dedicated to honoring the sacrifice of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who died to save others on 9/11.
Laird, 46, died from injuries he sustained fighting a house fire in Ijamsville Aug. 11. He served 21 years with the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services. He left behind his wife Sara and daughters Erin and Madelyn.
"I am completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the Foundation," Sara Laird said in the release. "Being able to tell my daughters with certainty that we get to stay in our home is truly a blessing ... I am sure my husband is looking down on us and this brings him great pride to know that his sacrifice is being honored by ensuring we are cared for. There could be no greater Christmas gift."
Thousands of uniformed first responders came out to Mount St. Mary's University Aug. 17 to honor the life of Battalion Chief Laird. Though his professional firefighter career started with Frederick County 21 years ago, he began volunteering at age 16 in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania, and became the state's youngest paramedic at the time, according to DFRS Chief Tom Coe. He went on to serve in Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Fairfield, Pennsylvania.
In Frederick County, Laird served at fire stations in Green Valley, New Market, Spring Ridge, Westview, United, Carroll Manor and Braddock Heights. His accomplishments included earning a silver medal of bravery for saving a man's life in a rescue. And when the pandemic struck, Laird became part of the fire department's COVID-19 incident management team.
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