A Chicago firefighter’s wife and three of their children died in a fire that broke out in their home last week.
Walter Stewart, a firefighter, was on duty when the house caught fire on Tuesday and rushed back to his Montclair residence to perform CPR on his wife. CBS Chicago reported, although he was not one of the crew members originally assigned to respond. Stewart’s name and job role were determined by the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, according to the station.
Stewart’s 7-year-old son, Ezra Stewart, was pronounced dead Wednesday night, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed. His wife, 36-year-old Summer Day-Stewart, died Thursday night.
At the time, the firefighter’s two other young children, identified by the medical examiner as 2-year-old Emory Day-Stewart and 9-year-old Autumn Day-Stewart, were hospitalized in critical condition with injuries related to the fire. The two children died Friday night, according to the county medical examiner.
Fire officials previously said all four members of Stewart’s family suffered from smoke inhalation during the fire, CBS Chicago reported. Autopsy results with the exact cause of death for Stewart’s wife and children had not yet been completed when the station released its latest report on the house fire.
It is not known exactly what caused a fire last Tuesday night at a family’s home on Chicago’s northwest side, and an investigation is underway. Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, told The Associated Press that the fire started in the home’s kitchen. The spokesperson also told CBS Chicago that the fire department is coordinating with the medical examiner as they work to determine how it happened.
Firefighters on Friday distributed smoke detectors and other fire-fighting supplies to people living in the Stewart neighborhood, which CBS Chicago reports is a common sight after the deadly fire. Stewart’s family home had smoke detectors, according to the station.
The Chicago Fire Department launched a fundraiser through its charity, Ignite the Spirit, to help Stewart’s family following the tragedy. The Firefighters Union Local 2 issued a statement in support of the family.
“Every member of Local 2 and the Department mourns with our brother Walter and the Stewart family. This tragedy weighs heavily on our hearts, and we pledge our continued support,” Jim Tracy, president of Local 2, said in a statement. “Local 2 encourages everyone to donate to Walter and the Stewart family through ‘Ignite The Spirit Chicago.'”