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UPDATED: Chicago Firefighter Dan Capuano dies after falling down elevator shaft at warehouse fire


A firefighter has died after falling through the second floor while battling a warehouse fire in South Chicago.

The fire department has since cleared the scene. The firefighter had to be pulled from the scene by crews who performed CPR before sending him to Christ Hospital. The firefighter, Dan Capuano, 42, was later pronounced dead.

Capuano was injured about 20 minutes after crews were called to a vacant warehouse at 92nd and Baltimore about 2:40 a.m.

Officials said he was the father of three children. Capuano was a 14-year veteran of the department.

IL Chicago firefighter killed 7
Firefighter/paramedic Dan Capuano

Chicago Tribune:

When firefighters arrived at the three-story building, there was heavy smoke through the second floor and firefighters searched for the source of the blaze, Santiago said.

Firefighters noticed holes in the floor and an emergency alert was issued for firefighters to use caution, he said. During the search, Capuano fell through an elevator shaft from the second floor to the basement. 

“It looks like the firefighter had just walked into the elevator shaft as he was searching, couldn’t see and fell,” Santiago said.

First responders performed CPR at the scene before taking him to the hospital, Santiago said.


Crews quickly located Capuano, and put him in an ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4:25 a.m.

Capuano, a 15-year veteran of the department, leaves behind a wife and three children, according to Santiago. Capuano also worked as a firefighter in Evergreen Park.

“We hope you can keep the Capuano family in your prayers, and the department members that work with him,” Santiago said. “This is devastating to the family.”

IL Chicago firefighter killed 4

Chicago Tribune:

“We hope you can keep the Capuano family in your prayers, and the department members that work with him,” Santiago added. “This is devastating to the family.”

About 20 Chicago Fire Department personnel, including a handful in their helmets and firefighting gear, waited outside the Cook County medical examiner’s office Monday morning in windy drizzle for Capuano’s body to arrive at the morgue.

Two firetrucks faced each other on opposite sides of Harrison Street, their ladders hoisted into the air and nearly touching each other. One of the ladders had an American flag hanging from it. At times, the wind wrapped it against the ladder.

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