November 14, 2014

James Bethea - Firefighter - Baltimore, Maryland

Lieutenant James Bethea, age 62, died in the line of duty on November 12, 2014, in Baltimore, Maryland.

James Bethea
Lieutenant Bethea was a member of the Baltimore Fire Department. He had 40 years of service and had spent the last 15 years of his career as a Safety Officer. 

At about 12:30 a.m, James and other firefighters responded to a fire in a vacant rowhouse. At about 3:30 a.m., the situation was resolved and firefighters returned to their stations. 

The next morning a former auxiliary firefighter drove by the scene of the fire and noticed that a Fire Department SUV was still parked in the vicinity.  Fire Department officials searched the area and found James Bethea's body in the basement of a vacant home next door to the scene of the fire. 

No one knows, at this time, how James ended up in the basement of this house. The cause of his death is under investigation. 

Also under review is the Department's policy regarding accounting for firefighters returning from a call.

The Baltimore Fire Department is in mourning over the death of their brother. He will
Florian, Patron Saint of
Firefighters, pray for James
and for those who have lost
be forever remembered.

James' loved ones are devastated over his sudden and tragic death. They stated that James' mission was to ensure that people were safe and protected from fire.  He would check people's smoke alarms and point out fire hazards wherever he found them. He loved travel, cooking and golf; but most of all he loved his family. He will be forever mourned.

James is survived by many loving comrades, friends and family members including but not limited to his parents; his sister, Darlene Bethea; his wife, Brenda Pridgen; and his son, Darryl Bethea.

Thank you for your service to the community, James. 

Pray for all who die in the line of duty.

Pray for all who die suddenly. They are with us one moment and are gone before we can say goodbye.

Pray that James is in heaven. Pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.

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