Firefighter Dies After Battling Extra-Alarm Fire

Chicago Fire Department Captain Herbert Johnson died as a result of battling a house fire early this evening.  It is the first line-of-duty death in Chicago since December 2010

Johnson, who was recently promoted to captain, was transported to University of Chicago’s Medical Center in critical condition.  He succumbed to his injuries while in the emergency room. It is reported that Johnson was trapped in a flashover fire that may have compromised his breathing and possibly put him in cardiac shock; paramedics had begun CPR on the scene.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. an original house fire call was received by the Office of Emergency Management and Communication. The first engine on the scene reported that the fire was located in the attic. Less than 15 minutes later, a mayday call was called out for two firefighters trapped in the home. The fire was upgraded to a 2-11 alarm fire and an Emergency Medical Services Plan 1, which calls more equipment and six ambulances to the scene.

According to Chicago Fire Department media affairs officers, the mayday call was due because of partial collapse of the roof and a flashover, where a building suddenly bursts into flames.

Another firefighter was transported in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. According to Chicago Fire Department Media Affairs Director Larry Langford, he is stable and expected to recover.