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Funeral held for fallen Baltimore firefighter Rodney Pitts III

<i>WJZ</i><br/>The funeral for fallen Baltimore City firefighter Rodney W. Pitts III took place Friday morning at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
WJZ
The funeral for fallen Baltimore City firefighter Rodney W. Pitts III took place Friday morning at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

By ROHAN MATTU, PAUL GESSLER, AMY KAWATA

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WJZ) — The funeral for fallen Baltimore City firefighter Rodney W. Pitts III took place Friday morning at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen before a procession to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

Hundreds of firefighters and first responders from across the state flocked to the cathedral in North Baltimore.

“Today is not just a funeral. It’s a celebration of life,” Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said.

Pitts died after battling a two-alarm fire at a two-story rowhome last Thursday in the 5200 block of Linden Heights Avenue.

Pitts was a member of Engine Company #29 and had been with the Baltimore City Fire Department for one year. He graduated from the fire academy over the summer.

Speakers at the service include Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, Mayor Brandon Scott, City Fire Chief James Wallace, union president Matthew Coster and family members.

A second Baltimore City firefighter, Lt. Dillon J. Rinaldo of Engine Company #46, died from his injuries on Wednesday. Three others were injured, but have since been released from the hospital.

Pitts was a member of Engine Company #29 and had been with the Baltimore City Fire Department for one year. He graduated from the fire academy over the summer.

Mayor Brandon Scott made remarks at the service, beginning with a Bible verse:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phillipians chapter 2 verses 3-4)

EMT/FireFighter Rodney Pitts III embodied those words everyday. A true Baltimore hero selflessly serving to protect his fellow Baltimoreans.

And while we all are hurting from the loss of one of our bravest heroes – today and everyday we must honor and celebrate him for a life well lived in service.

To Ms. Monica, Natasha, Arianna Hendrix and the entire family, – all of Baltimore is deeply sorry for your loss. To the women and men of the Baltimore Fire Department, we all grieve with you over the loss of our fallen brothers.

But in this moment let us all be reminded that Rodney leaves behind a legacy that is etched in courage and service that we won’t forget.

-Mayor Brandon Scott

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