The firefighter tried to perform life-saving measures on his wife and three children at the scene before they were hospitalized.
A Chicago firefighter's 7-year-old son has died after he suffered from smoke inhalation as his family home caught fire, also injuring the boy's mother and two siblings, according to authorities. The boy, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as Ezra Stewart, was initially in critical condition as a result of the March 7th night fire, according to NBC Chicago. As per the online records, he died the next day.
The fire broke out shortly after 9:00 p.m. on March 7th on the 2500 block of North Rutherford Avenue, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement, as per PEOPLE. Hereafter, a 34-year-old woman, two girls, 2 and 7, as well as the 7-year-old boy, who all "suffered smoke inhalation" were "transported to various hospitals in critical condition," police said. A Chicago Fire Department spokesperson said the fire broke out at the home of an active firefighter, who was on duty that night, reported NBC News.
The firefighter was later identified as Walter Stewart by Ignite the Spirit, a charity that supports CFD families, and the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2. CFD spokesman Larry Langford said the firefighter, stationed at Truck 55 in Edison Park, heard the call about the fire at his address come through, according to WLS-TV. After he arrived at the scene, Stewart attempted to perform life-saving measures on the family before they were hospitalized, Langford added, according to NBC Chicago.
A deceased pet was also removed from the home on March 8th, per WLS-TV. When contacted on the morning of March 9th, police told PEOPLE that the cause of the fire is still under investigation. "Preliminary reports indicate that the fire began in the kitchen," a Chicago Fire Department spokesperson told PEOPLE. "At this point, all of our prayers are with our member."
Chicago Firefighter's Son, 7, Dies After Fire at Family's Home, Dad Was On Duty and Rushed to Scene https://t.co/IBPJAyvy08— People (@people) March 9, 2023
Fire officials will be visiting the neighborhood on March 10th to distribute smoke alarms, and they have publicly confirmed the home did have fire detectors. On the morning of March 9th, after news of the 7-year-old boy's death was announced, a fundraiser was created to support the family. "The Stewart Family is facing an unspeakable tragedy. Walter Stewart, a Chicago Firefighter, was on duty at the firehouse when he overheard his home address on the fire radio, indicating that an active fire was raging," read a statement on Ignite the Spirit's social media page.
"When he arrived on the scene he found his house in flames and his wife and children in grave condition," the charity wrote, alongside a link to where donations can be made. "Please keep the Stewart Family in your thoughts and prayers." In another statement obtained by PEOPLE, Jim Tracy, the president of the firefighter's union, said "every member of Local 2 and the Department mourns with our brother Walter and the Stewart family." Added Tracy, "This tragedy weighs heavy on our hearts, and we pledge our ongoing support."
Cover Image Source: Youtube | ABC 7 Chicago