Home Video Chicago fire department loses first firefighter to COVID-19

Chicago fire department loses first firefighter to COVID-19

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The first Chicago firefighter has died from the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday night.

Mario Araujo, 49, worked in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford wrote on Twitter that Araujo joined the department in October 2003 and spent most of his career at Truck 25.

Fire Department Commissioner Richard Ford released a statement saying the “tragic loss underscores the seriousness that we face as a city and a nation.”

“CFD members put themselves in harm’s way without hesitation to selflessly uphold the oath they took to be there for every person they encounter during an emergency situation,” Ford said. “Firefighter Araujo’s service will never be forgotten.”

Firefighters, paramedics and police officers have been on the front lines of the pandemic, dealing with the public for weeks even as much of the city stays home per an order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Currently 46 Chicago Fire Department employees have COVID-19, Langford said.

Last week, Marco DiFranco, a 50-year-old Chicago police officer, died of the virus.

Though officials have not said how DiFranco contracted the disease, his death was classified as in the line of duty at a time first responders have been tasked with working in conditions that can put them at greater risk of becoming infected than the general public.

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