Cause of death released for Chicago firefighter who died after responding to high-rise fire

The cause of death has been released for a Chicago firefighter who died after responding to a fire in Chicago's Gold Coast Wednesday morning.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, CFD Lt. Jan Tchoryk, 55, died of hypertensive-arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The ME said he died of natural causes.

At about 8 a.m. Wednesday, a massive fire broke out on the 27th floor of a condo building near Division and DuSable Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast.

Jan Tchoryk | Provided

Because the elevators weren't working, firefighters had to carry their gear up a stairwell. That's when Tchoryk collapsed on the 11th floor.

"A mayday was called for help," said Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt. "The crews started treating him right away by doing CPR on the scene and got him back to the lobby where they continued."

Paramedics rushed Tchoryk to Northwestern Memorial, but he couldn’t be revived.

Three other Chicago firefighters were injured battling the condo fire. All three were initially hospitalized in fair to serious condition.


Tchoryk had been a Chicago Firefighter since 1997 and worked out of Tower 10 on Division.

On Thursday, the CFD Office of Fire Investigation determined Wednesday's blaze was accidental and started from combustible materials being too close to a heat-generating appliance.

Tchoryk was the second Chicago firefighter to die in the line of duty this week.

On Tuesday, another veteran Chicago firefighter, 49-year-old Jermaine Pelt, was killed while battling a fire on the city’s Far South Side.