Fire Department Mourns Loss of Two Day After South Side Fire
By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 23, 2010 2:13PM
The Chicago Fire Department is in mourning today after they lost two of their own in a three-alarm blaze on the South Side yesterday. The firemen, Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum, were inside the abandoned laundry at 1744 E. 75th St. looking for possible homeless people trapped in the building when the roof collapsed on top of them. The fire, which also injured 17 others, was the worst firefighter tragedy in more than a decade and occurred on the 100th anniversary of the Union Stock Yards fire.
Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff, who was among the 100 firefighters who responded to a mayday call to rescue Stringer and Ankum, said, "(e)very firefighter that was there did the best they could to save their brothers." Indeed, firefighters canvassed the rubble to rescue Stringer, Ankum and two other firefighters trapped underneath.
The building, most recently a laundry, has a history of building code violations. Laundry owner Chuck Dai was sued by the city at least three times since 1987. The building itself was in foreclosure and was cited 14 times in 2007 for code violations, including failure to maintain the roof and the building in structurally sound condition.
Edward Stringer was a 12-year Fire Department veteran who leaves behind two grown children. Neighbors described Stringer as a caring man who joked about rushing into burning buildings when most others ran away from them.
Ankum transferred to the Fire Department last year from the Police Department, fulfilling a dream to become a fireman like one of his dearest relatives.