Posts Tagged CFD FF Corey Ankum

Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoSunTimes.com:

After more than 30 years with the Chicago Fire Department, Quention Curtis had grown weary of the discriminatory hiring practices that have cost the city nearly $92 million in settlements since 2008. Race and sex discrimination lawsuits have for decades dogged a department that didn’t welcome its first female firefighters until 1986, and which has discrimination lawsuits pending from as recently as 2016.

On Saturday, black firefighters from across the city will converge for a ribbon-cutting at their new clubhouse, 8404 S. Kedzie in the Ashburn neighborhood. In February, Curtis, bought the longtime home of the Gaelic Fire Brigade. The Irish firefighters group put the building on the market last summer.

It’s a place for fellowship and support when confronted by departmental racism. It’s a place from which to mentor black youth, a place where more young black men and women can be helped to prepare for and pass the firefighters exam.

A few hundred black firefighters are expected Saturday. The brigade will unveil its Memorial Wall, honoring the 13 black firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

Two awards will be presented — one honoring the most recent badge on that wall. Corey Ankum, 38, was killed Dec. 22, 2010, fighting a fire at a vacant South Side building where a roof and wall collapsed. Also killed was firefighter Edward Stringer, 47.

The inaugural Corey Ankum Leadership Award will go to his son, Torey Ankum, 8.

The second award is named for Arthur “Lee” Lewis, Jr., who brought the 1998 class-action suit over the city’s discriminatory handling of a 1995 firefighters entrance exam. In a 2011 settlement, the city agreed to hire 111 bypassed black firefighters and pay $78.4 million to nearly 6,000 who never got that chance, including Lewis.

The first to receive that award is Eric Washington, a black firefighter who in 2016 rallied his peers to collect and deliver thousands of cases of water to Flint, Mich., after the water there became poisoned with lead.

“This is bigger than us. It’s about our neighborhoods, our kids who are dying in the streets,” he said. “We have a responsibility to expose as many young black men and women to the fire service as possible, let them see us, bring them in, prepare them to pass the exam. The black community suffers for lack of exposure.”

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CFD LODD Anniversary – Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer

Today is the anniversary of the Ankum/Stringer fire (CFD LODD vacant bldg fire)

Chicago FD LODD anniversary

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD LODD anniversary

Tim Olk photo

Chicago FD LODD anniversary

Tim Olk photo

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LODD Anniversary

This from Dan McInerney:

Today is the anniversary of the Stockyards fire, the Ankum/Stringer fire (CFD LODD vacant bldg fire) and the Keokuk triple LODD fire. While the Keokuk fire is not local, it still stands out as a triple LODD that NIST did a fire modeling study on

And this from the Chicago Tribune:

cartoon remembering two CFD FFs

From the Chicago Tribune

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Chicago labels dangerous buildings with red ‘X’

WBEX.org has a lengthy article explaining Chicago’s red ‘X’ program:

While walking around her Logan Square neighborhood Chicagoan Poppy Coleman noticed something peculiar about two rundown buildings: They bore metal signs emblazoned with a large red “X.”…  she wanted to know more …

Since 2012 nearly 2,000 of these red “X” signs have popped up around Chicago. It’s not hard to find people posting in online forums, wondering aloud whether the red “X” means a building’s condemned, vacant or for sale. This program, meant to save the lives of [firefighters] and others, has run out of money.

On Dec. 22, 2010, firefighters were searching for squatters inside a burning, long-vacant laundromat on the 1700 block of East 75th Street, in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. As firefighters continued their sweep of the building, a wall fell and then the roof collapsed, killing firefighters Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum. Nineteen others were injured.

“When I first became alderman, one of the first visits that I paid was to Fire Chief Mark Neilsen,” said 50th Ward Ald. Debra Silverstein, who sponsored two city ordinances in response. The first ordinance, passed in 2011, required the department to catalogue buildings with bowstring truss construction, a variety that’s prone to collapse during fires.

Silverstein’s second ordinance sought to find and mark all of Chicago’s dangerous buildings. For that program they decided on rectangular metal signs displaying a big red “X”, a symbol used by fire departments in New York City and other some other cities. That iconography comes from a federal program for marking vacant structures.

Chicago doesn’t assign red “X” signs to just any vacant or abandoned building; a sign is a visual cue that a structure is structurally unsound and that firefighters should take precautions when responding to emergencies there.

Since Silverstein’s ordinance passed in June 2012, the Chicago Fire Department has put up 1,804 red “X” signs. That’s less than half of the more than 5,000 vacant properties registered in the city — itself a fraction of the estimated total of vacant and abandoned buildings in Chicago — but CFD Spokesman Larry Langford says it’s a start.

“We picked 1,800 that we wanted to get marked right away,” he says. When the program started, Chicago’s Department of Buildings sent over a list of structurally unsound properties for CFD to add to as they saw fit. The list from the Department of Buildings included a few hundred properties deemed more than 35 percent deteriorated. The department has largely left it up to aldermen and their offices to publicize the signs’ purpose.

There is a process to rehabilitate vacant and abandoned properties, but the city requires owners to obtain special permission before performing work on red x structures. Two years after the program began, however, only one building has successfully been repaired and had its red “X” legally removed.

… this program that was meant to save lives has run out of money. The city received $675,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program to fund the red “X” program. Most of that federal grant money went to two local contractors: AGAE Contractors and M-K Signs. Data obtained by WBEZ show the city spent all of that money over thirteen months starting in June of 2012, and hasn’t put up any new red “X” signs since July 2013.

thanks Dan

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Chicago double LODD 12-22-10 (update)

The Chicago Tribune has an article about a short prison term for the owner of a building that collapsed December 22, 2010 which resulted in the death of two Chicago firefighters: FF Edward J. Stringer and FF/EMT Corey D. Ankum.

A Chicago building owner pleaded guilty to contempt of court and was sentenced Thursday to six months in Cook County Jail for failing to make court-ordered repairs to the abandoned structure before it collapsed in a fire, killing two Chicago firefighters in late 2010.

At the time of the charges, an attorney for Chuck Dai had been critical of the unusual criminal prosecution, but on Thursday, the attorney, Gene Murphy, said Dai pleaded guilty in part to spare the families of those killed and injured in the fire from sitting through a trial. Criminal Court Judge James Obbish also ordered that Dai, 65, of South Holland, pay $5,229 in fines.

Edward Stringer, 47, and Corey Ankum, 34 were killed and 19 other firefighters were injured when the rotting truss roof of the former South Side laundry collapsed three days before Christmas.

Civil lawsuits brought against Dai and others by relatives of Stringer and Ankum are still pending in Cook County Circuit Court.

In a statement issued after Dai’s guilty plea, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez acknowledged that administrative sanctions would typically be sought for failing to comply with building codes but that the deaths of the two firefighters warranted criminal penalties.

In 2007 city building inspectors had issued 14 citations against the vacant building at 1738-1744 E. 75th St., pointing out that the roof leaked and its trusses were in disrepair. Over the next year Dai failed to show up for numerous court dates, racking up fines of $14,000 for not fixing the problems, prosecutors said. With city attorneys cracking down in 2009, Dai had sought to reduce his fines by signing a court order to make the required repairs by November 2010, but prosecutors said he never completed the improvements. Records show city building inspectors had not yet followed up to make sure the repairs had been made before the fatal fire.

Following the fire, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health faulted the fire department for poor communications – not all the firefighters had radios – as a contributing factor in the deaths of the two firefighters. The city’s Building Department was also cited for not flagging the building as hazardous.

As part of the changes instituted following the fire, the city began marking hazardous abandoned buildings with a red “X,” and the fire department no longer sends firefighters into abandoned buildings without evidence that someone is inside. Firefighters had entered the abandoned building in search of homeless squatters. Officials determined a trash fire was the cause of the blaze.

 

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Chicago proposes the Scarlet Letter

The Chicago City Council is proposing an ordinance to identify and brand dangerous buildings with a scarlet ‘X’. The Chicago Tribune reports that:

Firefighters, cops and paramedics arriving at dangerous, vacant buildings would be warned by emergency dispatchers and bright reflective signs under new city efforts to avoid another disaster like the December 2010 roof collapse that claimed the lives of two firefighters.

Earlier this year, the city began compiling a list of dangerous buildings for 911 dispatchers, who will warn first responders en route to those sites. And the City Council Zoning Committee on Monday endorsed a measure to put 2-foot by 2-foot reflective signs, each with a large red “X,” on those buildings.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris

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Firefighters pay their respect to fallen CFD FF Corey Ankum – update

FireTruckBlog.com has compiled links to several videos taken at various times during the funeral and the funeral procession for fallen CFD FF Corey Ankum.

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Firefighters pay their respect to fallen CFD FF Corey Ankum – update

Coverage for today’s funeral service for CFD FF Corey Ankum can found on several sites: Chicago Tribune, MyFoxChicago, ABC Chicago, NBC Chicago.

“Corey was a true defender in every sense of the word,” Daley said at the funeral for the fallen firefighter Thursday. ” He was devoted to protecting everyone. All the time, every time I spoke to him, the first thing he said: ‘I love the fire department.’. It wasn’t just a job for him, it was a way of life.”

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