Building Next to Warehouse Where Firefighter Died Unsafe, City Says

The city and the owners of the South Side building where a Chicago firefighter fell to his death three weeks ago agree the structure should be demolished. Additionally, city inspectors say the warehouse next door is also not up to par.

“When they were out there they found that that property is not safe and that it needed to be closed immediately,” city attorney Kimberly Roberts said.

The building is a food warehouse and by chance the inspectors discovered a large issue that calls for its demolishing.

“There was 1,500 pounds of ammonia found in the basement which presents a hazard,” Roberts said.

Firefighter Daniel Capuano was among the firefighters dispatched to a three-story warehouse fire at 9213 S. Baltimore just before 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 14 after heavy smoked could be seen billowing out of the rear of the building.

While fighting the flames, a floor gave out under Capuano's feet and he was dropped to the structure's basement. He was carried out of the burning building by a team of firefighters, before emergency responders arrived to fight for his life. He later died at the hospital from his injuries.

Permits for the warehouse show it was being converted to a grocery store but there was no indication the elevator and large gaping holes were handled. The city is seeking large fines and the case has been States Attorney’s office for possible criminal charges.

“It’s a matter of doing what’s right and my client continues to be concerned about this tragedy,” said Patrick Cummings, the attorney who represents the owner of the building.

It is not yet known if the owner will be charged.

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