CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter with over 25 years on the job has passed away following a house fire earlier this month, the Chicago Fire Department reports.

Lt. Kevin Ward was one of three firefighters injured in a blaze Aug. 11 in the 8300 block of West Balmoral near O’Hare. A mayday call was issued during the fire and Ward was transported in critical condition.

Two days later, CFD said he was making improvements at Loyola Medical Center but remained in serious condition.

Ward, 59, joined the department in 1996 and worked out of Truck 9, located in the 5300 block of North Cumberland.

Ward’s death is the third line-of-duty death the department has dealt with in 2023. In the same week in April, CFD lost Jermaine Pelt, 49, and Jan Tchoryk, 55, in separate fires.

“On behalf of the City of Chicago, I offer my sincerest condolences on the passing of Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Kevin Ward. I pray for the peace of his family, friends and loved ones during this most difficult time,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said. “Let us keep Truck #9 and all our dedicated first responders in our hearts as we honor Lt. Ward’s life and memory.”

CFD escorted Ward’s body to the medical examiner’s office on Tuesday morning.

“This hits me in the heart real bad,” said retired CFD firefighter Bob Arens, who worked with Ward. “We’re gonna give him a proper salute. You know he gave the ultimate sacrifice to us.”

Ward was surrounded by family at the time of his death.