Funeral plans set for Kevin Ward, Chicago Fire Department lieutenant who died after blaze near O’Hare

CHICAGO (WLS) — The funeral for a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant who died weeks after a fire near O’Hare airport has been set.

The funeral services for Lt. Kevin Ward, 58, will take place Sept. 13.

The visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m., with the funeral at 11 a.m. at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, CFD spokesman Larry Langford said.

Ward died at Loyola Medical Center last week after leading the charge into a burning home Aug. 11 in the 8300-block of West Balmoral Avenue.

Ward was in the basement of the home, when he was critically injured.

Two other firefighters were injured in the fire.

Fire officials said Lt. Ward was surrounded by his family when he died. He joined the department in 1996.

Officials said they were hopeful Ward would pull through, and, because they were never able to speak to him, they still don’t know exactly what happened in the moments before a first mayday was called.

“This was not an easy fire. It was a basement fire, which are very difficult to fight,” Deputy District Chief Kelly Burns said. “Being on that call and being at the hospital with him that night, if you had told me three weeks later that we’d be doing this I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Ward has been described as an adventurer, avid reader and self-proclaimed dog dad.

He worked second shift at Engine 11, Truck 9, where purple bunting covered the Northwest Side building Tuesday.

“His family was with him as he died peacefully in the hospital. I don’t know what else to say,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said. “Every time we lose a member it’s like losing someone in our family. We stay together 24 hours a day. And this man has been here 27 years, so he’s impacted and touched a lot of lives.”

It’s been a tough year for the Chicago Fire Department.

Ward is the third firefighter to die in-the-line-of-duty this year.

Back in April, the department lost two firefighters on back-to back days, with 49-year-old Jermaine Pelt dying on April 4, and 55-year-old Jan Tchoryk on April 5.

Pelt died battling a house fire in West Pullman, and Tchoryk died while responding to a high-rise fire on North Lake Shore Drive.

“This is very tragic for us. We haven’t healed from the last few deaths we’ve had. We continue to try to lift each other up, but this keeps happening. We just ask that everybody pray for the family, for us,” Nance-Holt said.

Ward is survived by his sister and father.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report. Funeral plans set for Kevin Ward, Chicago Fire Department lieutenant who died after blaze near O’Hare

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