Posts Tagged Chicago FF Edward Stringer

CFD LODD Anniversary – Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer

From Chicago FD Media on Twitter:

The Chicago Fire Department gathered to remember the sacrifice made by Firefighters Corey Ankum & Edward Stringer 10 years ago fighting a fire on 75th Street at an abandoned former dry cleaner.

The bell was rung to not only honor Firefighters Corey Ankum & Edward Stringer, but to also honor and remember the 21 CFD members lost during the Chicago Stockyard fire in 1910.

Chicago firefighters and officials commemorates the anniversary of firefighters that died in the line of duty

CFD Media photo

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commemorates the anniversary of firefighters that died in the line of duty

CFD Media photo

Chicago firefighters and officials commemorates the anniversary of firefighters that died in the line of duty

CFD Media photo

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Chicago double LODD 12-22-10 (more)

Excerpts from claims

An insurer may be liable for $14 million of a mortgage company’s settlement with the estates of two Chicago firefighters who were killed while battling a blaze at an abandoned laundry, a federal appellate court ruled Monday.

A district court judge had ruled that no coverage was owed under the excess liability policy issued by a Chubb unit because of an exclusion for properties held by a “mortgagee in procession.” But a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there was a question of whether the policyholder, Apex Mortgage Corp., was actually in possession of the property at 1738-1744 E. 75th St.

“The district court determined Apex indisputably possessed the property, but we think the court jumped the gun,” the court said.

The case is Apex Mortgage Corp. v. Great Northern Insurance Co.. The City of Chicago had cited the owners of the former Sing Way Commercial Shirt Service for 14 code violations. The court said the “property was in disrepair, exposed to the elements, trashed and open to vagrants.”

The building’s owners, Chuck and Richard Dai, had defaulted on their mortgage. When Apex threatened foreclosure, the Dais offered to give the deed to Apex. The company accepted subject to an inspection to ensure the property was marketable.

Apex inspected the property, installed new locks on the building and a tarp over the roof, but decided there was no point in pursuing foreclosure, Apex’s lawyers said in court pleadings. Apex returned the deed to the Dais in April 2009 with a letter reminding them they owned the building and urging them to secure the property. The Dais say they never got the letter.

On Dec. 22, 2010, the Chicago Fire Department responded to a fire at the property. The roof collapsed about 20 minutes after that call came in, killing firefighters Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer, who had entered the building to search for homeless occupants. Two other firefighters were buried in the rubble, but survived. The firefighters’ estates filed wrongful death actions against Apex, which the mortgage company settled for $15 million.

Apex’s primary liability insurer, Great Northern Insurance Co., paid the $1 million policy limit after Apex filed suit. Apex sought to recover the remaining $14 million from its excess policy with Federal Insurance Co., but Federal said no coverage was owed because of the exclusion.

District Court Judge Virginia M. Kendall agreed with Federal that Apex was a mortgagee in possession at the time of the fire and granted summary judgment in Federal’s favor. But the 7th Circuit said the facts in evidence provide room to argue otherwise.

The panel said Chuck Dai ordered a handyman to board up the property after the city cited him for code violations. He never made the other repairs that were ordered and eventually was sentenced to 180 days in jail for his negligence. Chuck Dai did not contest the city’s allegations that he controlled the property during those criminal proceedings.

The court also rejected Federal’s argument that Apex effectively admitted it was in possession of the property when it agreed to a settlement with the firefighters’ estates.

“Settlement does not create a judicial ruling,” the panel said. “Nor does it vindicate a plaintiff’s theory of liability. Parties can settle for any number of reasons and the obligation to pay comes from the settlement itself (an agreement), not from one party’s liability.”

The court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

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’ 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 CFD FF Edward Stringer – update

Chicago FF Edward Stringer was laid to rest today. He died as a result of injuries sustained when a building collapsed after a fire on December 22, 2010 at 1744 E. 75th Street. Today’s events began at the Blake Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn followed by a funeral mass at St. Rita of Cascia Chapel on South Western Avenue and then burial was at the Beverly Cemetery in Blue Island.

Tim Olk documented today’s events at the funeral home and then at the church. At the family’s request, photographers were not permitted inside the cemetery during the burial services.

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

Chicago Engine 63 where FF Stringer worked, was draped in bunting and adorned with his turnout gear at the funeral home this morning in preparation of carrying the casket to the church. Tim Olk photo

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

Several hundred Chicago firefighters are joined by firefighters from throughout Illinois and many others from across the country to honor FF Edward Stringer who succumbed to injuries that he received when a building collapsed last week on Chicago's south side. Firefighters from Engine Company 63, Stringer's unit, act as pallbearers to load the casket into the hosebed of the engine for the trip from the funeral home to the church. Tim Olk photo

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

Members of the Chicago Fire Department Pipes and Drums and the honor guard lead Engine 63 carrying the casket of FF Edward Stringer to the church for the funeral mass. Tim Olk photo

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

Engine 63 arrives at the church carrying the casket of fallen Chicago Firefighter Edward Stringer this afternoon as firefighters line both sides of the street. Members of Engine Company 63 march behind the engine carrying their fallen brother. Tim Olk photo

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

Members of Engine Company 63 remove the casket from the hosebed of the engine, and as pallbearers prepare to carry their fallen brother into the church. Tim Olk photo

Chicago Fire Department Funeral for FF Edward Stringer

A member of the Chicago Fire Department Honor Guard stands at Engine 63 with a flag of the 23rd Battalion alongside FF Edward Stringer's turnout gear. Tim Olk photo

Tim Olk has an extensive gallery of images which can be viewed HERE.

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Firefighters pay their respect to CFD FF Edward Stringer – update

The Chicago Tribune has an article HERE detailing the first series of events today of the funeral for fallen Chicago Firefighter Edward Stringer as the casket is taken from the funeral home to the church. HERE is their post from the funeral.

Chicago FF Edward Stringer funeral

Chicago Tribune/WGN News photo

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