15-year veteran firefighter dies in warehouse blaze – Chicago Tribune

A 15-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department died after falling down an elevator shaft while battling a vacant warehouse fire on the Far South Side early Monday.

Daniel Capuano, 42, was wheeled out of the building at 92nd Street and Baltimore Avenue around 2:40 a.m. and rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead less than two hours later, officials said.

When firefighters arrived at the three-story building in the South Chicago neighborhood, there was heavy smoke through the second floor, and firefighters searched for the source of the blaze, fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said.

Firefighters noticed holes in the floor and an emergency alert was issued for firefighters to use caution, he said. During the search, Capuano fell through an elevator shaft from the second floor to the basement.

“It looks like the firefighter had just walked into the elevator shaft as he was searching, couldn’t see and fell,” Santiago said.

First responders performed CPR before taking him to the hospital, Santiago said.

Capuano was assigned to Tower Ladder 34 and is survived by his wife and three children, Santiago said.

“This is devastating to the family,” Santiago said at the hospital. “We’ll get our heads together and add more later on.

“We hope you can keep the Capuano family in your prayers, and the department members that work with him,” Santiago added. “This is devastating to the family.”

The fire was struck out around 3:45 a.m., and no other injuries were reported.


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