CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter died Wednesday following a high-rise fire in Gold Coast. He is the second CFD member to die in as many days.
At around 7:20 a.m., CFD tweeted that they responded to the 1200 block of North Lake Shore Drive, which is near the intersection of Division, for a still-and-box response.
Then a short time later, a mayday response was called for a firefighter down. Chicago fire said Lt. Jan Tchoryk, 55, was making his way up the stairs to the 27th floor when he went down at the 11th floor.
He was rushed by colleagues to the lobby where life-saving measures were performed. He died as a result of his injuries, CFD said.
Three other firefighters were taken to the hospital in fair condition and two civilians were injured as well. Two firefighters and the civilians were released from the hospital on Wednesday following minor injuries.
The other firefighter was put on oxygen at the hospital, but his condition improved and he was released on Thursday afternoon.
The fire department said the fire was initially out and they were just battling hot spots. However at around 8:55 a.m., the fire reignited and large flames were shooting out of another unit.
CFD lost the ability to use elevators and said there are no sprinklers on any of the residential floors of the building.
The cause of the fire was ultimately determined to be accidental due to “combustibles being too close to a heat generating appliance,” CFD released Thursday.
On Tuesday morning, the department lost one of their own, 49-year-old Jermaine Pelt, in a South Side house fire. According to the medical examiner’s office, he died from carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.
Pelt had been with the department since 2005.
“Right now, I have two funerals to prepare for, two grieving families and a huge department that is broken, including command staff,” Commissioner Nance-Holt said.
CFD said Tchoryk was an active outdoorsman, an avid motorcyclist, a Navy veteran and comes from a large family. His son recently joined The Chicago Police Department as an officer.
“I can’t tell you how this impacts us losing two members in two days,” Nance-Holt said.
Mayor Lightfoot issued the following statement:
“Our Fire Department and our City have suffered yet another great loss with the passing of Lieutenant Jan Tchoryk, a 26-year veteran of CFD. I extend my most heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends, and CFD colleagues who mourn the loss of a heroic firefighter. It is unprecedented to lose two firefighters in two days. Our first responders put their lives on the line every single day for us, & they deserve our support today & always. If you see a first responder today, thank these heroes who take an extraordinary risk to keep us safe.”
Stay with WGN as this story develops.