NORRIDGE, Ill. — Visitation services were held Wednesday for Chicago Fire Department Lt. Jan Tchoryk.
CFD members and the community are saying their final goodbyes to a fallen hero until 9 p.m.
Tchoryk died on April 5 while responding to a fire at a high-rise in the Gold Coast. He was one of two Chicago firefighters who died in the line of duty in just two days.
“This job is dangerous and you never know if you’re coming home,” CFD Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said.
Tchoryk is remembered by his loved ones and peers as a proud father, an avid motorcyclist and a Navy veteran who came from a large family.
Lt. Jim Pack served with Tchoryk for years and the two were close. He remembers their trips to Vegas and said he will miss his friend deeply.
“Just laughing with him, making fun of him, making fun of me,” Pack said. “Him and I used to always joke.”
Pack said he was working and heard the mayday call over the radio.
“I was lieutenant on Truck 35 that day so I knew who it was and what was going on,” he said.
But to Timothy Nelson, he was a stranger and a hero he never met.
“It’s a very thankless job and it takes a special person to put that uniform on, to protect people they do not know, not knowing if they’re going to go home to their families, so I want to say thank you,” Nelson said.
He traveled from Oak Creek, Wisconsin and has been to more than two dozen first responders’ services in the last five years.
“I’m just a man with a flag,” he said. “Anything helps. Shake a hand, say thank you. Even that will go a long way. You never know what that will do for an individual.”
Funeral services are being held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Ukrainian Church, 5000 North Cumberland in Chicago. Internment will happen following the service.
The Norridge Police Department said Cumberland will be shut down from about 9 a.m. until noon Thursday for the service and mourners stationed on Cumberland between Lawerence and Argyle.