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|Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012|
Chicago Fire Fighters to be Laid to Rest
The two fire fighters from Chicago Local 2 who died in the daybreak hours of December 22 will be laid to rest this week. Seventeen other fire fighters were injured when a wall in an abandoned commercial building on Chicago's south side collapsed.
The tragedy occurred on the 100th anniversary of a major fire at Chicago's Union Stockyards that claimed the lives of 21 Chicago fire fighters.
Fire Fighter Edward Stringer, 47, and Fire Fighter/EMT Corey Ankum, 34, were crushed by falling debris as they searched the burning building for possible victims.
Funeral Service information for Ed Stringer:
The viewing for Brother Stringer will be held on Monday, December 27, 2010, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 West 103rd Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois 60453; (708) 636-1193; www.blakelamboaklawn.com. The funeral service for Brother Stringer will be held on Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel, 7740 S Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60620.
Funeral Service information for Brother Ankum:
Visitation (Wake): Wednesday December 29, 2010
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester
Early Visitation before Funeral Service: Thursday December 30, 2010
Funeral Service: Thursday December 30, 2010
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester
12300 S. Kedzie
For hotel and other logistical information, visit the Chicago Local 2 web site.
"I am deeply saddened by this tragedy. At a time when families are coming together to celebrate the holidays, it is horrible that this heartbreaking disaster is ripping families apart," General President Harold Schaitberger says.
Fire fighters Stringer and Ankum were among several fire fighters searching the burning building in the early morning – concerned that homeless people might be trapped inside – when a roof came crashing down on them.
Both men died of blunt force trauma while 17 other fire fighters were injured in the deadliest Chicago fire in more than a dozen years. Four of the injured fire fighters were listed in serious to critical condition. As of Wednesday 12 of the injured had been treated and released.
Answering a rare mayday call, dozens of fire fighters rushed to the scene and frantically searched rubble for more than an hour as trapped fire fighters were pulled out.
"Every firefighter that was there did the best they could to save their brothers," fire Commissioner Robert Hoff told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune.
President Schaitberger has spoken with Local 2 President Tom Ryan, who has been at the fire scene and the hospitals.
"They died doing the job they loved," Tom Ryan, president of the city's firefighters union, said in a news conference.
Calling the losses "devastating," Ryan said "The citizens of Chicago were very lucky to have them."
According to the Tribune, friends and neighbors remembered Stringer as a caring man who liked to quip that he ran into burning buildings when other people ran away from them. The father of two adult children lived on Chicago's Southwest Side with his dog, Roscoe.
Ankum, a former police officer, in 2009 joined the fire department. His wife is named Demeka, and they had a one-year-old son, Torey. Friends as well as colleagues in the fire department remembered Ankum as a big-hearted man who love being a fire fighter and would help anyone.
Ankum had planned a grand Christmas Day with his family, with a deep-fried turkey, a kid-sized electric truck for his son, and a new car for his beloved wife.
According to the Tribune, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's eyes filled with tears Wednesday evening as he spoke about the sacrifice Stringer and Ankum made. The tragedy struck a personal cord for Daley as Ankum's wife Demeka has worked as his executive assistant for the last decade.
"Our first responders put their lives on the line every day," he said in a news conference. "We must remember that their sacrifice (is) selflessly given in the spirit of saving the lives of the citizens of the city of Chicago. Each and every time we lose a member of the police and fire department, we lose part of Chicago's history."
The deaths of Stringer and Ankum occurred on the 100th anniversary of a massive fire at Chicago's Union Stockyards that claimed the lives of 21 of the city's fire fighters. That tragedy marked the greatest loss of life of fire fighters up until the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
It was the worst fire since February 1998 when two fire fighters were killed when a roof collapse while they tackled a fire at a tire store in the Chicago neighborhood of Beverly. Both tire store and the building hat collapsed Wednesday had bowed trussed roofs.
Details regarding funeral arrangements are pending. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. A web site that has been continuously updating can be foundhere .
Republished with permission of the International Association of Fire Fighters. View original article here.
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