A Chicago firefighter died this morning after he fell from a ladder while fighting a fire at a West Loop restaurant.
Christopher Wheatley, 31, was carrying an ax and a hose up a ladder at the Avec restaurant, 615 W. Randolph, when he fell about 35 feet around 12:30 a.m., according to Fire Cmsr. Robert Hoff.
He was taken in very critical condition to Stroger Hospital and was pronounced dead there at 1:19 a.m.
Dozens of police and fire cars, their lights flashing, lined the streets as Ambulance 15 carried Wheatley's body to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Officers silently saluted.
Wheatley became a paramedic in 2000 and a firefighter in 2008. He was engaged, and is also survived by his father, his mother and a sister, Hoff said. Wheatley was assigned to Engine Company 5, Truck No. 2.
He was responding to a grease-chute fire at the restaurant when he slipped while carrying up to 75 pounds of equipment, officials said.
Another CFD hero has gone home to Christ, while serving all of us. Young Bill Grant, CFD died while taking on another shift in 2008.
Today young Chris Wheatley,CFD joined Bill Grant and all of Chicago's fallen heroes - cops, forefighters, EMTs, and all who serve and protect.
God Bless his family and his comrades.