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Chicago firefighter’s wife dies days after responding to fire at their Montclair home – Chicago Tribune


The wife of a Chicago Fire Department firefighter died Thursday night, two days after a firefighter responded to a fire at her home and tried to save her with CPR outside the family’s Montclair home Tuesday night.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday that 36-year-old Summer Day-Stewart had died. Her son, Ezra Stewart, 7, died Wednesday night. The couple’s two other children, a 2-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl, were both last listed in critical condition.

Firefighter Walter Stewart heard his address as the scene of a fire Tuesday night. A Chicago fire chief drove him from a fire station five miles away. First responders found Day-Stewart and the three children unconscious from smoke inhalation and in critical condition.

Outside the burning home, a young firefighter performed CPR on his dead wife, fire department spokesman Larry Langford said.

“It must be hell,” Langford said. “We’re doing everything we can to support him.”

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There was no update on the condition of the Stewarts’ two other children, Langford said.

The investigation into the fire, which officials believe started in the kitchen, was inconclusive and suspended Friday, although it remained possible that investigators would conduct a forensic analysis of fire artifacts, Langford said.

A spokesman for the veteran fire department said he had never seen anything like the nightmare scenario in his many years with the department. According to him, the firemen’s houses caught fire. Even fire stations caught fire, he added.

But Langford said he couldn’t recall the department facing such a tragedy.

“As much as I’ve been involved with fires, I can’t understand what he’s going through. It’s just unbelievable. I can’t even imagine what it feels like,” he said.

The department is raising money to help Stewart’s family cope with an “unspeakable tragedy” through its charity, Ignite the Spirit.



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