CHICAGO — A procession was held on Monday afternoon for a Chicago firefighter who died after battling a blaze that broke out at a tavern in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood on Monday morning.
Fire officials confirmed his death in a post on X on Monday morning and said in part: “On behalf of the Fire Commissioner, it is my sad duty to report the passing of our member injured this morning at 2430 Lincoln.
The firefighter, who has been identified as 39-year-old Andrew Price, joined the department in March 2009 and was assigned to Truck 44 in 2015.
Price, who would have turned 40 in January, was known as “Drew” by co-workers who described him as a health nut who loved his job.
Fire officials say the blaze broke out around 5:30 a.m. in the kitchen of the Lincoln Station Bar and Grill in the 2400 block of Lincoln Avenue.
“Our apartment was filled with smoke and we heard the alarms going off,” Kaitlyn Milligan, who lives above the restaurant where the fire broke out, said. “Shortly after we heard the firefighters knocking on the door telling us to get out.”
According to officials, crews were working to extinguish the fire when Price, who was on the roof, fell through a light shaft. Crews say they had to cut a hole in a wall to get to Price and pull him from the burning building.
“We had information that firefighter Price had descended a light shaft. When we first got eyes upon him, firefighter Price was responsive. When RIT lieutenant asked him if he could hear him to move his arm he moved his arm,” CFD Battalion Chief Michael McCormick said.
Officials say Price was responsive when he was pulled from the building, before he was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson spoke about the tragic death on Monday.
“Our hearts and our thoughts and prayers are with the Price family,” Johnson said. “The loss of a firefighter in this city is yet another reminder of how sensitive life is.
Coworkers described the 39-year-old husband as someone who was loved by all.
“He was a light of sunshine, never had a bad thing to say about anyone. A good family man, everyone loved him,” McCormick said.
A procession was held on Monday afternoon to escort Price’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office.
The firefighter’s death is the fourth line-of-duty death the department has dealt with this year. Lt. Kevin Ward died following a Northwest Side fire in August. In the same week in April, CFD lost Jermaine Pelt, 49, and Jan Tchoryk, 55, in separate fires.
No other injuries were reported in the fire and officials say the cause is currently unclear.