The Naval Air Station Patuxent River identified the firefighter who died Tuesday morning in a St. Mary’s County house fire as Brice C. Trossbach.

Trossbach, 25, died after responding to an incident in Leonardtown on the 20500 block of Deer Wood Park Drive.

The Naval Air station said in a press release Wednesday that Trossbach made the “ultimate sacrifice.”

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Brice’s family, friends, and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” wrote NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer Capt. Derrick Kingsley. “We understand that no words can fully alleviate the pain and grief they are experiencing, but we want them to know that our entire NAS Patuxent River family stands beside them, offering our support, love, and prayers.”

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“Brice’s loss is not only felt by us at PAX, but by the greater Southern Maryland community as well,” he added.

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Trossbach was injured at the scene of the fire Tuesday and taken to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He had been a member of the Patuxent River department since August 2019, and also served for several years as a volunteer firefighter with the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department and the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department, according to the release.

“I’ve known Brice since he was a little kid following his dad to the Leonardtown Fire Station when I was the Chief there, and he always wanted to be a firefighter,” Gerald Gardiner, deputy director of emergency services for St. Mary’s County, wrote in a statement.

“To see him come up from that kid, to the man and firefighter he’d become, makes this loss especially hard. His respect for those he helped, the mentorship he provided the younger guys coming up, and the service he gave to the nation and Southern Maryland community will leave a big hole in our hearts.”

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James Randy Guy — president of the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County — also extended thanks on Tuesday to the multiple fire companies from in and around the county that assisted with the emergency response.

A volunteer firefighter from Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department Company 1 was also taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the fire.

The fire marshal’s office said 15 investigators, which it said is a quarter of its personnel, are investigating the cause of the fire with other local agencies, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.

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WJZ contributed to this article.

penelope.blackwell@thebaltimorebanner.com

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News/Accountability reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. 

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