CHICAGO — Private funeral services were held Monday for the first Chicago firefighter to die of complications from COVID-19.
Mario Araujo, 49, died last week after testing positive for the virus. He had no known underlying conditions, but the Medical Examiner said heart disease was a contributing factor.
A limited number of relatives were allowed to attend the funeral.
Chicago Fire Department officials acknowledged Monday the unique challenge of saying goodbye during a time of social distancing.
“My deepest condolences out to his family and my deepest condolences out to his crew. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused us to adjust the way we do business. But we will do that and we will survive,” said Commissioner Richard Ford, Chicago Fire Department.
Chicago Fire Department officials participated in a brief graveside ceremony for the 17-year veteran.
The loss is also felt in Rosemont, where the police superintendent called Araujo a great man. He served within that public safety department as an auxiliary corporal.