CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter has died due to complications of COVID-19, according to Chicago fire officials.
Michael Pickering, 45, was assigned to Engine 29 — a firehouse at the corner of 35th and Lowe in Bridgeport.
According to the department, his death will be deemed a Line of Duty Death. His body had a full ceremonial escort from McNeal Hospital to Hann Funeral Home at 82nd and Harlem Avenue Friday afternoon.
According to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford, Pickering joined the Chicago Fire Department in 2003. He leaves behind an adult son and two teenaged daughters.
“It’s just unreal how quick this happens. In a million years, I wouldn’t have pictured anything like this, it’s a terrible time for us,” his stepson John Christian said. “We did get to see him one last time though, we were visiting all week so we did get to say our goodbyes to him, we talked to him.”
Christian said he was called to the hospital Friday morning, but his father passed away by the time he got there.
The Chicago Fire Department has lost four active members to COVID-19, according to Langford.