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3 Chicago FFs injured in ceiling collapse

Officials say a large chunk of plaster ceiling fell on all three firefighters during an apartment blaze Sunday


William Lee
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — It’s a good thing they were wearing helmets.

Chicago firefighters were injured Sunday morning when a chunk from a classic plaster ceiling inside a South Shore apartment building crashed down on them.

All three were initially rushed to the hospital in serious condition because of the large size of of the falling plaster, but were all later upgraded and set for release on Sunday, according to fire officials.

“One firefighter has been released and another will be released shortly,” Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez said a few hours after the fire in in the 6700 block of South Cregier Avenue near the edge of Jackson Park.

The fire crew were working to locate the source of smoke inside the occupied three-story building around 9:20 a.m. As they checked for flames inside the ceiling, a large chunk of the plaster ceiling fell on top all three, according to Hernandez.

Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the source of the flames as the injured firefighters were taken to the hospital. No other injuries were reported and no one was displaced by the fire, authorities said.

All three firefighters were wearing helmets, which likely blunted the full force of the collapsing ceiling, Hernandez said.

Two of the three firefighters were expected to return to active duty, but a third member won’t return right away because of a previous injury, officials said. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.


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