We regret to advise you that a 32-year member of the
Chicago FD died in the Line of Duty last night after he and another
Firefighter were injured in that 2nd alarm dwelling fire
that went bad, catching crews inside. The fire initially was in the
attic of the dwelling which is where he was found and
removed. The dwelling is a frame home, 2-1/2 stories and about
25 feet by 40 feet. CFD Captain Herbert Johnson, 54, was a 33-year
veteran of the department, and he was just promoted to Captain last summer.
Captain "Herbie" Johnson is survived by his wife, Susan, one daughter
and two sons. One son is in college and the other is U.S. Marine.In
addition to his wife and 3 kids, Captain Johnson has 3 brothers who are
Chicago Police officers, a sister whose a retired Chicago cop, and a brother
who is a Chicago Firefighter. NOTE: Captain Johnson's service went beyond the Chicago FD as he was
among a group of Chicago Firefighters who responded to NYC immediately to
assist the FDNY following the attack and murders on 9/11/01.
Captain Johnson, was found by Firefighters in the home's attic and
he had suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns....he was taken the
University of Chicago Medical Center, while a second Firefighter, who was in
good condition as of late last night, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical
Center in Oak Lawn. Captain Johnson was assigned last night to Engine Co. 123
for the night, but normally floated and covered around the city.
"HERBIE IS EVERYTHING THE CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT IS ABOUT"
Tom Ryan, President of IAFF Local 2 was in tears as he
addressed the media, telling reporters that "we lost a piece of our heart
and our soul today." "Herbie is everything the Chicago Fire
Department is about. He's a shining example of what public service is,"
said Ryan. "We're at a loss of words."
“He was the best, he was the best guy,’’ said Chicago Fire Dept. Lt. Steve
O’Malley, who had been relieved by Captain Johnson this morning about 0600
from Engine 123, Tower Ladder 39, on 51st Street after O’Malley had worked a
48-hour shift. “He was his usual crazy self, laughing,’’ O’Malley said, his
voice shaking. “He always had a smile on his face." O’Malley said this
morning he and Johnson talked about their old stomping grounds, the St. Basil
neighborhood, where they both grew up near 58th and Winchester. They knew each
other since grade school.
“I grew up with the whole family,’’ said O’Malley, adding that his friend was
also was an instructor at the fire academy. “He was an all around great guy and
great fireman,’’ O’Malley said. “What a big-time, huge loss to the department.
He was loved by everybody.’’ “We fight fires all the times, we had three that
that day. But now it hurts. Now it hurts,’’ O'Malley said.
We'll keep you update on The Secret List as well as
here on our home page regarding the tragic loss of Captain "Herbie"
Our sincere condolences go out to all those
affected, the CFD, his friends and family. RIP.
RadioReference.com Audio courtesy of Firefighter Dispatch
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