Chicago firefighter dies after battling Lincoln Park fire

A Chicago firefighter who was badly injured while battling an extra-alarm fire Monday morning at a building in Lincoln Park on the city's North Side has died.

Firefighter Andrew "Drew" Price sustained serious injuries after a "bad fall" while fighting the fire at a four-story mixed occupancy building in the 2400 block of North Lincoln Avenue, fire commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said during a press conference. She said the building was occupied at the time of the fire.

Around 6 a.m., Price was opening holes on the roof to ventilate the fire when he fell through a light shaft and became trapped behind a wall, according to Nance-Holt. A mayday was immediately called and firefighters had to force a hole through a wall in order to extricate Price, she said.

"When we first got eyes upon him, firefighter Price was responsive. They asked him if he could hear him to move his arm. He moved his arm," said 12th Battalion Chief Michael McCormick.

Price, 39, was given CPR at the scene before being transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition, Nance-Holt said. He later died of his injuries.

"Unfortunately he didn't survive his injuries. Illinois Masonic, they did everything possible that they could to help our member's outcome. He sustained significant injuries and we are so very grateful to Illinois Masonic team, to the doctors and to all the team members who came and supported his family," Nance-Holt said.

Price joined the Chicago Fire Department in March 2009 and was assigned to Engine 55 and Truck 44 since 2015.

"Everybody called him Drew. We knew him as Drew. We all knew Drew," Nance-Holt said. "[He was] loved by so many and will be missed by all."

McCormick said those who knew Price described him as a "light of sunshine."

"He was a lovely man. He was as sweet as could be," McCormick said. "He never had a bad thing to say about anybody. Kind of quiet. A good family man. Everybody love him. It really stings."

Price is the fourth Chicago Fire Department member to die in the line of duty this year.

"We all love what we do and we all know when we go to work it may be our last, we all realize that but I think having all the members behind me, our command staff, the members of the fire department with me, the hugs we share with each other, we work through our grief," Nance-Holt said.

Andrew "Drew" Price (Chicago Fire Department / Facebook)

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement late Monday morning expressing his condolences following Price's death.

"Our collective hearts are heavy this morning as we mourn the passing of firefighter Andrew Price, who has fallen in the line of duty battling a fire in Lincoln Park," Johnson said in the statement. "Andrew gave his life in service to the City of Chicago, taking his position at the front lines of a threat to our safety and community. He made the ultimate sacrifice to protect those in harm’s way – a debt we can never repay."

Benn Hamm owns the restaurant and bar where the fire occurred. Hours after the blaze, you could still hear the smoke alarm sounding.

"I’ve lost a little, and someone else has lost a lot," Hamm said.

About 150 firefighters were on the scene. No one else has been injured. Langford said it was too early to know how or why the fire started.

According to the Chicago Buildings Department website, the building where Price died passed its most recent inspection in September 2021.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.