For the second time in little more than a week, Chicago firefighters made a sad procession to the morgue today to honor a fallen colleague.
Walter Patmon Jr., 61, an 18-year veteran, died late Sunday night after going into cardiac arrest within hours of responding to a small kitchen fire in the 1500 block of West 99th Street, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Will Knight said. The firefighters discovered meat burning on a stove, officials said.
After returning to his firehouse, Patmon experienced shortness of breath while cleaning equipment, Knight said. He was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.
Firefighter Walter Patmon Jr., 61, was an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. He worked out of Engine Company No. 121 at 1700 West 95th Street.
Patmon returned to his firehouse last night after responding to a small kitchen fire in a home on West 99th Street. He said he felt short of breath and was rushed to Little Company of Mary Hospital. On the way he went into cardiac arrest and later died.
Patmon is survived by his wife and three daughters.
“Walter was a super dude. I mean, every day when we see him, he always got a smile,” said the Chicago Fire Department’s Michael Griffin.
Patmon, who was known by his childhood nickname “Bubble,” was just a few years away from retirement.
“I used to say, ‘Walter, you’re kind of in a busy fire house. Isn’t it time to kind of slow down?’ He said, ‘No, I’m not going anywhere. I love this fire house. I love this department, and I’m staying where I’m at,’” retired senior firefighter Irving Brown said.
Patmon’s death comes three days after the funeral of Cpt. Herbie Johnson, also of the Chicago Fire Department.