An 86-year-old retired Chicago firefighter who saved a little boy from an apartment fire a half century ago has died.
What Eddie Groya did that cold November day in 1963 is something firefighters do a regular basis, but this heroic moment had an outcome you couldn’t make up.
The 5-year-old boy whose life Groya saved was a Cuban refugee who grew up to become Chicago Fire Lieutenant Rick Vega. What’s even more amazing is that Vega now works out of the same Lakeview firehouse as the man who inspired him to become a firefighter. It’s just a few blocks away from the burning apartment building where Vega was led to safety by the steady hands of fireman Eddie Groya.
Lieutenant Vega says he’ll stand honor guard during Groya’s wake Wednesday is his full uniform, honoring the life of the man who saved his life.