Fallen Chicago Firefighters Mourned Following Tragedy | Firehouse.com
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer were among a dozen firefighters putting out a blaze in an abandoned building at daybreak today when suddenly the roof gave way.
Steven Ellerson, a 20-year veteran, and others swarmed inside to rescue them. "He heard someone calling for help and he looked for him," Ellerson's brother Maurice Matthews said.
Ellerson found Ankum on the floor, gasping.
"He found him and knew he was struggling to breathe so he took off his mask to give him some oxygen," Matthews said. "Corey's head was stuck somehow and they couldn't get him out. So my brother went to give him his coat but they came and got my brother out of there. My brother didn't want to leave him, but there was no choice.
"It was a chaotic scene," Matthews said. "These guys put their lives on the line every day."
Stringer and another trapped firefighter was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police closing ramps and clearing the way for the ambulances. Ankum was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said both firefighters died of trauma. Ankum had been with the department less than two years, Stringer about 12 years.
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