Lake Shore Drive High-Rise Fire: Second Chicago Firefighter Dies After Firefighter Died at Another Fire Yesterday

Lake Shore Drive apartment fire at a high-rise where a Chicago firefighter was killed on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (SOURCE: Chicago Fire Department)
Lake Shore Drive apartment fire at a high-rise where a Chicago firefighter was killed on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (SOURCE: Chicago Fire Department).

A second firefighter died Wednesday, April 5, 2023 fighting a fire at a high-rise apartment/condo building on Lake Shore Drive, the day after another firefighter died fighting an apartment house fire on the South Side yesterday. The firefighter was down on the 11th floor, and may have been climbing stairs as part of firefighting operations on the 27th floor.

Police, firefighters and paramedics from Chicago responded about 6:55 a.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2023 to a report of a fire in an apartment in a high-rise building at 1212 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Firefighters on arrival reported an activated alarm on the 27th floor. Battalion Chief 3 reported apartment management indicated there was a fire in a bedroom. A short time later the resident in the affected apartment confirmed there was a fire in the apartment.

A Still and Box Alarm and EMS Plan 1 was activated at 7:02 a.m. Inner Lake Shore Drive was shut down. However, drivers continued to attempt drive around road blocks and use the inner drive.

Multiple callers began reporting heavy smoke on the 29th floor about 7:03 a.m. HVAC was being shut down about 7:12 a.m. to prevent further spreading of smoke in the building.

According to EMS Command (4-5-7), paramedics were assigned to evaluate an injured firefighter at the front of the building just before 7:34 a.m. Ambulance 11 was assigned to treat and transport an injured firefighter Code Yellow — the firefighter transported to Northwestern Memorial. Ambulance 6 was assigned to the front of the building to evaluate a second firefighter, and later was assigned to RIT (Rapid Intervention Team). About seven ambulances were staging at Elm Street and Lake Shore Drive. A total of three firefighters were injured,

Ambulance 66 transported one firefighter Code Red with the assistance of Engine 76’s crew to Northwestern Memorial. The Chicago Fire Department reported that the firefighter was transported “very critical to hospital.”

Ambulance 41 transported on civilian Code Yellow to St. Joe’s.

Elm Street/Lake Shore Drive …

The fire department response was upgraded to a 2-11 Alarm about 7:26 a.m. According to Deputy District Chief 2-1-10, water was reported on the fire about 7:34 a.m. Firefighters were needed on the center staircase on floor 17 or 18 about 7:46 a.m.

A Mayday response with a 3-11 Alarm was activated about 7:56 a.m. on the orders of 2-1-10. The fire department staging area was at 1400 North Lake Shore Drive. An EMS Plan 2 was activated about 8:00 a.m. Each EMS Plan brings about five additional paramedic rescue ambulances. The Chicago Fire Department helicopter was unable to fly during this incident.

Firefighters were ventilating the building by about 8:17 a.m. The fire was confined to one large apartment on the 27th floor. The Chicago Fire Department reported the building does not have sprinklers on the 27th floor. The building is an apartment/condo building with about 260 units. At some point during firefighting operations, the elevators were not working.

There may have been communications issues with fire department radios during firefighting operations at the fire scene — also known as fireground communications.

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