Investigation continues into roof collapse that killed two firefighters

December 22, 2010

by City Room and The Associated Press

(AP/M. Spencer Green)
Firefighters stand near the scene of a fire at a one story building where officials say a wall collapsed killed two firefighters

Two Chicago firefighters are dead after battling a blaze on the city's South Side Wednesday morning. Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer died when they entered the building to see if anyone was inside and a wall and roof collapsed.

In addition to the two who died, 17 firefighters were injured. Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said five remained hospitalized last night.

Hoff said firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.

"We can only put a theory out there that - because the fire wasn't that well involved in that area, it was more of an office area in the back that maybe the snow and ice," Hoff said. "There are many things that could contribute: age of the building. We're looking into all those things right now."

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the two men who died were among four firefighters buried in debris Wednesday morning when the building's roof collapsed. Langford says the injured include firefighters who rushed to rescue those trapped.

Firefighters were battling the blaze at the one-story building when a wall and the roof collapsed. Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of the Union Stock Yards fire that killed 21 Chicago firefighters.