What caused a Montgomery County firefighter to die at Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department is still a mystery.
Charles “Rick” Gentilcore was found unresponsive in his chair Friday. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At 52 years old with no known health issues, his passing is especially difficult for those who knew him best. He leaves behind a wife, an adult child and siblings, including his brothers and sisters at the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in Montgomery County, Station 15.
When firefighters lose one of their brothers or sisters, they stay busy. In keeping with tradition, members at Station 15 are cleaning trucks and shining rims.
Gentilcore’s colleagues want the vehicles to look pristine for the service. After all, it’s how he would have wanted it.
He was known for keeping the department’s digs clean. And it was his job to drive and operate the trucks, as he was often tasked with taking the ambulance.
Memories of Gentilcore are everywhere. His old locker, though empty, still dons his name. A makeshift memorial displays his helmet, old photos and cards. Outside, black bunting hangs over the station, honoring his service, which began in 1994 as a volunteer firefighter.
He would go on to make it his full-time career and was stationed elsewhere before returning to where it all started, Station 15.
Gentilcore’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore, where they will try to determine a cause of death.
Funeral arrangements are expected to be made as soon as Sunday. To help with his family financially, click here.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered the state flag lowered to half-staff to honor Gentilcore.