Family: South Shore fire victim died trying to save others

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The family of one of the men killed in Tuesday’s extra alarm fire in the 6700 block of South Shore Drive tells WGN that he died a hero, trying to save others from the smoke-filled high-rise.

John Fasula, 50, was one of two men who were killed in the fire A woman also suffered a heart attack, but she survived.

Fasula worked for the CTA for 32 years.  He was a manager of systems maintenance. His daughter-in-law tells WGN he was only supposed to be in the building for ten minutes.  He was there to look at a job.

But while Fasula was at the building at about 8:30 Tuesday morning the fire broke out in an apartment on the 7th floor.  Flames threatened an 8th floor apartment while heavy smoke filled up the 15-story building.

Some people got out quickly, running for cover, blankets wrapped around them and their feet bare.  Others took refuge from the smoke on their balconies until firefighters got to them.

It was smoke inhalation that caused John Fasula’s death.

Another victim of the fire, Jameel Johnson, 36,  may have been an employee with a cable company and was doing some work at the time of the fire.

Fire officials are still trying to determine how the fire started.  There were no sprinklers in the building and there was no PA system to allow residents to know what to do.  A permit for a PA system was apparently being filed.

The building was constructed before 1975.


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