Firefighter who was called to his own address loses his children to house fire
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Featured Image Credit: ABC7 Chicago
The Chicago firefighter who responded to a blaze at his own home has tragically lost another two of his children to the incident.
Walter Stewart rushed to his home on the 2500 block of North Rutherford Avenue in Montclare, Chicago last Tuesday (7 March) when a fire broke out while his wife and children were at home.
Stewart performed CPR on his wife, Summer Day-Stewart, but unfortunately she and the couple's seven-year-old son, Ezra, died in the hours after the blaze.
Another two of Stewart's children, Emory Day-Stewart and Autumn Day-Stewart, were hospitalised after the incident, with police saying at the time they had 'suffered smoke inhalation' and were in 'critical condition'.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has since confirmed that Emory, two, and Autumn, nine, died on Friday night, three days after the fire.
Ignite the Spirit, a charity associated with the Chicago Fire Department, is now raising money to support Stewart in the wake of the 'unspeakable tragedy'.
"Walter Stewart, a Chicago Firefighter, was on duty at the firehouse when he overheard his home address on the fire radio, indicating that an active fire was raging. When he arrived on the scene he found his house in flames and his wife and children in grave condition," the website says.
"Tragically, Walter lost his Wife and three children. Please keep the Stewart Family in your thoughts and prayers. 100% of the donations collected go directly to the Stewart Family. "
Sharing the fundraiser on Facebook, the charity added: "We wrap our arms and prayers around our brother on the loss of his wife and children. This is an unimaginable loss and we will be by your side."
Fire officials assured the Stewart family did have smoke detectors in their home when the fire broke out, but a neighbour told ABC7 he saw the home fully engulfed in flames after hearing a loud bang.
"I was shocked. There was so many firefighters leaving, so many police. It's crazy. It hits so close to home, right across the street," neighbour Mildred Bran said.
Stewart was not was not one of the fire department's crew members originally assigned to respond to the call about the fire, but he went to the home after hearing his address on the radio.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Fire Department has said that the fire began in the kitchen of the home, though the exact cause of the blaze has not yet been disclosed.