A Chicago Fire Department paramedic found dead Thursday afternoon in a home on fire in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Far South Side committed suicide, an autopsy found.
Rob Spoon, 28, was found in the basement of the home after fire crews responded to the blaze about 3:30 p.m. near 114th Street and St. Louis, according to Fire Media Affairs and Chicago Police.
He was taken to Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, the fire department and Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
An autopsy Friday found he died of a gunshot wound to the head, and thermal burns were listed as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled a suicide.
The Chicago Fire Department confirmed Spoon had been a paramedic with the department for two and a half years, and had been a Hometown firefighter for ten years.
Mike Strubin was visiting his parents across the street from where the fire happened. “We were in the backyard on our deck and we see the smoke in the sky, just heavily dark smoke.”
Strubin and his father called the Fire Department about 3:30 p.m. and were met on the block by a neighbor and a group of construction workers. The workers then broke down the back door, fearing a dog was in the home.
Strubin said black smoke started billowing out of the home, bursting through the front windows. “Stuff was falling, you could feel the heat standing right across the street. I’ve never seen a fire like that before in my life.”
He said fire crews arrived about 3:40 p.m. “They had it put out right away,” Strubin said.
“The fire seemed mostly confined to the front because they hit it a few times with the hose and it was out,” he said. “But still, just tons of black smoke just kept coming out for the next 15, 20 minutes at least.”