Chicago: Anatomy of a Building and its Collapse

The tragic events in the City of Chicago on Wednesday December 22, 2010, when Chicago Firefighter Edward J. Stringer – Engine Co.63 and Firefighter/EMT Corey D. Ankum, Truck Co.34 were killed in the line of duty while operating at a structure...


The tragic events in the City of Chicago on Wednesday December 22, 2010, when Chicago Firefighter Edward J. Stringer – Engine Co.63 and Firefighter/EMT Corey D. Ankum, Truck Co.34 were killed in the line of duty while operating at a structure fire in an abandoned one-story brick building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street on the City’s South side, exemplifies the demands, challenges and sacrifice that come with responsibilities, duty and sworn obligation  that distinguishes the honorable profession of being a firefighter.     

The fire was first reported at about 06:48 hours during the night and day tour shift change, with companies arriving at 06:52 hours reporting moderate fire in the  buildings northeast corner. The single story commercial structure was vacant, however it was readily known that squatters were known to seek shelter in the abandoned structure especially give the harsh weather being experienced in the city. The fire was quickly contained at approximately 07:00 hours according to published reports, and radio communications, with coordinated suppression, search and rescue and ventilation operations being conduction by companied both within the interior and on the roof. 

It was during this phase of operations that a mayday was rapidly communicated at 07:07 hours after a portion of the roof and rear masonry wall unexpectedly collapsed sending personnel operating on the roof riding down with the collapse and trapping four firefighters within the confines of the interior voids. RIT was immediately deployed at the scene for the trapped personnel with reports of numerous firefighters injured by the collapsing wall into the alley way on the Charlie and Delta sides.
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