CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter described as a “light of sunshine” died Monday after falling through the roof of a building while battling a blaze in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, authorities said.
According to the Chicago Fire Department, Andrew “Drew” Price, 39, was on the roof of a four-story building when he fell through a skylight shaft and was trapped, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The building is anchored by the Lincoln Station restaurant on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors, according to the newspaper.
Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt told reporters that Price, a 14-year veteran, died several hours after the fire broke out about 6 a.m. CST, WLS-TV reported.
He was opening up holes for ventilation and fell while putting out hot spots from what appeared to be a kitchen fire, according to the television station.
Crews broke a hole through the wall to pull Price out of the building and performed CPR on him, the Tribune reported. He was transported in critical condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he died, fire officials said.
Co-worker Mike Adams told the newspaper that Price “just loved the idea of being a firefighter.”
“He was a truly perfect human being,” Adams told the newspaper. “There’s not much of that out there in the world.”
Michael McCormick, the chief of the department’s 12th Battalion, told reporters during a news conference that Price was “a light of sunshine” and a beloved co-worker, WMAQ-TV reported.
“He never had a bad thing to say about anybody,” McCormick told reporters. “Kind of quiet. A good family man... everybody loved him. It really stinks.
“He’s like a big kid, real enthusiastic. Just a wonderful young man. Kept himself in very good shape. Great physical condition. Just a great firefighter. Everybody loved working with him.”
Nance-Holt said that Price joined the Fire Department in 2009 and was an instructor at the academy, the Tribune reported. He is the fourth Chicago firefighter to die in the line of duty this year, according to the newspaper.
“Our collective hearts are heavy this morning,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a statement. “Andrew gave his life in service to the City of Chicago, taking his position at the front lines of a threat to our safety and community. He made the ultimate sacrifice to protect those in harm’s way -- a debt we can never repay.”