CHICAGO (WLS) — The four-story structure at 2430-2432 North Lincoln Avenue has no current violations, according to Chicago’s Department of Buildings.
Firefighter Andrew Price did what generations of Chicago Fire Department officers have done for decades: he ascended to the rooftop and vented the burning fire by punching holes in the roof. Several vent holes were apparent from Chopper 7.
Prior to sunup, authorities said, Price fell through a plastic covering over a light shaft, landed on the basement floor and suffered severe injuries that he later died from.
There are commercial building safety products that act as guard rails around open rooftop shafts, but Chicago city officials told the ABC7 I-Team there is no regulation, code or other requirement here that light shafts or even skylights be cordoned off, mainly because they aren’t areas with public access.
But Monday, when Price was helping to put out an extra-alarm fire, he had to be on the rooftop and fell to his death.
CFD radio captured the frantic minutes after Price fell and rescue teams worked to punch through a wall to get to him.
Once the mayday call went out, came a radio description of what it would take just to reach Price, who was mortally injured on the basement floor. On the radio, a Chicago firefighter is heard saying they would need a rope removal, a rescue using a rope line, which is a sometimes last-ditch effort for victims in confined, hard-to-reach spaces.
A review of building inspection records by the I-Team shows no current, open violations for the North Lincoln Avenue structure that was built in 1894. The building passed a fire department inspection on Halloween.
ABC7 found eight historical violations from 2017. They were all routine and not related to the light shafts.
Five years ago this month, one violation resulted in a court case that was dismissed with the building in full compliance.