Jermaine Pelt, a Chicago firefighter, died and two others were injured in West Pullman, according to the CFD.

Jermaine Pelt, a Chicago firefighter, died Tuesday morning after an extra-alarm fire in the West Pullman neighborhood.

According to the fire department, the fire started around 3:30 a.m. near 120th and Wallace streets.

The fire is thought to have started in a home’s attic and spread to two adjacent homes. The structure where the fire began appeared to have a partial roof collapse.

Firefighter Pelt was working a hose line when conditions worsened and all firefighters were ordered out, according to Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance Holt.

Pelt was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital, where he died later that day. Two more firefighters were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

“Jermaine is our family and when we lose one of our members, it takes a toll on us and people just don’t know what firefighters and paramedics go through daily when they respond to these calls not knowing if they will come home the next day,” Commissioner Nance Holt said.

Pelt, 49, has worked for CFD since 2005. He has two children, one of whom he recently walked down the aisle for her wedding. He is also the father of a six-year-old child.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, one firefighter was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in critical condition and died later. Two more people were transported in critical condition.

The fire broke out shortly after 5 a.m. According to the CFD, the fire has displaced two adults and two children.

Lori Lightfoot, the mayor, issued a statement on Twitter, saying, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jermaine Pelt, an 18-year veteran of the CFD, who died in the line of duty early this morning. Following this tragic incident, my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, fellow CFD colleagues, and Engine 75 brothers and sisters.

“It takes a special form of bravery to work as a first responder, to rise to meet different disasters and dangerous situations on a daily basis. Jermaine put his life on the line to answer this call, a selfless act of bravery and dedication to the residents of this city.

“Our city mourns this tragic loss today, and is here to uplift all who loved Jermaine with our prayers and support.”

CFD firefighter’s family, who died in Montclare fire, to have organs donated

Organ donation will take place for the family members of a Chicago fireman who passed away following a fire on the city’s Northwest Side, a CFD source said.

Emory Day-Stewart, a 2-year-old firefighter, and Autumn Day-Stewart, a 9-year-old, both passed away on Friday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Summer Day-Stewart, the firefighter’s 36-year-old wife, and Ezra Stewart, his 7-year-old son, both passed away this week.

According to a fire department source, Stewart consented to give the organs of all four members of his family so that people who require transplants can survive.

According to the source, the fire department initially let other members know whether someone needed a gift.

According to fire officials and a spokesman for Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2, Stewart, a firefighter-EMT with the department for almost three years, learned of a fire at his Montclare home in the 2500-block of North Rutherford Avenue around 9 p.m. on Tuesday while working on Truck 55 in Old Norwood Park.

A battalion chief hurried Stewart home, where he attempted CPR on his wife.

According to fire officials, the home’s kitchen was where the fire began.

According to the medical examiner’s office, smoke inhalation injuries caused Emory and Autumn to pass away.

For Stewart’s family, the firefighters’ union is accepting donations at classy.org/give/473700.

The deceased’s family posted pictures of them online.

(Source: Chicago Sun-Times 2023, Sun-Times Media Wire, Copyright.)

A CFD firefighter’s wife and three children were critically injured in a Montclare fire.

A house fire on Chicago’s Northwest Side on Tuesday night critically injured the wife and three children of an on-duty Chicago firefighter.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. in the 2500 block of North Rutherford Avenue, according to Chicago police.

Firefighters rescued a 34-year-old woman, two young girls, ages 2 and 7, and a 7-year-old boy who had all been exposed to smoke.

Stroger Hospital received an adult and two children.

According to Chicago fire officials, another child was transported to Community First Hospital.

According to CFD spokesman Larry Langford, the fire occurred at the home of an active Chicago firefighter who was on-duty at the time of the blaze.

According to Langford, the firefighter rushed to the scene after hearing his own address over the scanner.

A neighbor reported hearing a loud bang and looking out the window to see the house completely engulfed in flames. That’s when he called for assistance.

“I know there’s three children in the house and a mother,” John M. said.

The home’s damage was visible early Wednesday morning.

Fire inspectors have arrived to determine the cause of the fire.

A man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after an early morning fire in McHenry.

A man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a house fire in McHenry early Saturday morning.

The fire was reported just after midnight in the 600 block of Meadow Road, according to a news release from the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.

When firefighters arrived, they noticed smoke coming from the front door of the single-story home.

According to the release, the man was rescued and taken to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital with serious injuries.

According to the release, a McHenry Police Department officer was also taken to the hospital in good condition to be evaluated for smoke inhalation.

The fire’s origin is still being investigated. The house is uninhabitable.

CFD reports that a Christmas Eve fire in a South Austin neighborhood has displaced 12 people.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, an extra-alarm house fire in the city’s South Austin neighborhood on Christmas Eve Saturday displaced at least 12 people.

The fire broke out shortly after 5 a.m. in a two-story home on the West Side near Leamington and Ferdinand, according to officials.

According to the fire department, no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is on the scene to assist those who have been displaced.

A family member of a California murder victim comes out amid an inquiry into teenage ‘catfishing’ case.

The daughter and sister of a family found slain following a house fire in Southern California spoke out Wednesday at an emotional press conference that featured an update on the investigation from police officials.

“Nobody could have imagined this happening to our family, to my family, especially it just being one day after Thanksgiving,” Michelle Blandin said, wiping away tears. She expressed gratitude to the public for the outpouring of solidarity in the aftermath of the heinous incident.

Blandin paid tribute to her parents, Mark and Sharie Winek, and her sister, Brooke Winek, who were the victims of a triple homicide, according to investigators. Coroner’s office have not published the official causes of death.

Blandin also made a poignant request for help for Brooke Winek’s young girls, who was a single mother.

“For my two young nieces who are now left motherless, we hope that this community can wrap your arms around them and lift them up,” she said. “They have the most difficult journey ahead, as they are minors and they don’t understand everything that has happened.”

Alison Saros, a family acquaintance and former Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, informed reporters that the surviving teen victim is still in the custody of Child Protective Services.

“I think the question we all need to ask ourselves isn’t ‘What happened that day or the next day, but why? And what can we do as parents, as community members, as law enforcement, in order to make a difference, to raise awareness for what’s going on.”

Saros expressed gratitude to the numerous law enforcement and fire departments involved in the emergency response and following investigation, as well as the Riverside County district attorney’s office, which she said reached out to the victims’ families to give assistance and support. According to Saros, this assistance included trauma counseling and assistance with burial expenses.

On Tuesday, detectives returned to the location to acquire additional evidence.

“The family is going to have this house boarded up, just for safety reasons,” Ofc explained. Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback stands outside the home on Price Court. “Our detectives wanted to come out here and just to a secondary walkthrough while it was light and not as smoky.”

Detectives collected many bags of evidence Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by family members of the victims. The police did not specify what was discovered.

Austin Edwards, 28, the suspect in the triple-murder case, is accused of luring a 15-year-old girl who lives at the residence into an online relationship, a practice known as catfishing.

Edwards, a newly hired sheriff’s officer in Virginia, is said to have driven all the way across the nation to meet the teen girl.

“He took an oath to protect, and yet he failed to do so,” Blandin said of Edwards. “Instead, he preyed on the most vulnerable.”

The facts leading up to the awful display of violence at the residence are still being investigated, but Edwards is accused of murdering the 15-year-mother old’s and two grandparents and then fleeing the scene with her.

A 911 call from a neighbor alerted authorities to the possibility of the suspect fleeing the scene with the girl; the house caught fire shortly afterwards. Because investigators obtained the suspect’s license plate information from that phone call, they were able to quickly track him down using technology.

Three hours later, he was met by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies and murdered in a shootout.

Detectives have interrogated the teen girl, but they claim they still don’t know how it all started or what Edwards’ objectives were when he drove to California.

“We’re still looking into when he arrived… in Riverside here, but that’s going to take a while,” Railsback said. “We have this whole digital crime scene that we’re going to have to locate, with warrants probably, and sort through to see if there’s anything where he relayed his intentions or his plans.”

Despite how heinous this crime was, Riverside police believe catfishing is a common occurrence.

“The art of catfishing is when you lie about your own persona to entice somebody who wouldn’t normally be attracted to who you really are,” Riverside Det. Robert Olsen explained.

“A lot of these cases will start with the perpetrator actually discussing things with our children that our children are interested in, whether it be music or sports, or television, movies,” he said. “In that process, once they gain trust, they move on to what’s known as grooming.”

Olsen stated that his team has made around 40 charges for online enticement of a minor since June 2020.

“We have arrested women, government officials, celebrities, there are no specific profiles, that’s what makes this crime so difficult (to investigate),” he explained.

Olsen believes that parents must take charge of their children’s safety.

“As soon as you place a smart device in your child’s hand, which nowadays is between 4 and 5 years old,” he says, “you need to make it a habit of theirs to allow you to look through that device whenever you want, because you have the passcode, not them.”

“Because when they become teens now, and they start getting into chat rooms where some of this behavior is really occurring, they won’t become rebellious when you walk up and snatch their tablet out of their hand because you want to see what they’re doing.”

‘They don’t deserve this,’ authorities say of a man who ‘catfished’ a teen girl before killing family.

According to investigators, the killings of a husband and wife and their daughter in Riverside were supposedly the result of a catfishing episode involving one of the victims’ teenage daughter.

According to a Riverside Police Department update provided on Sunday, Mark Winek, his wife Sharie Winek, and their 38-year-old daughter Brooke Winek were killed by a guy who was allegedly involved in an internet relationship with Brooke’s adolescent daughter.

Everything happened the day after Thanksgiving.

Officers were dispatched about 11:08 a.m. to do a welfare check on “a young female who appeared distressed” as she got into a Red Kia Soul with a man.

While cops were responding, calls began to come in about a fire a few homes down from where the welfare check originated.

Riverside Fire Department firefighters tried to extinguish the fire and discovered the deaths of all three Winek family members laying on the ground in the front entry way.

“Their bodies were pulled outside where it was determined they were victims of an apparent homicide,” police said in a statement.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the young female identified in the initial welfare check call was an adolescent who resided at the home where the fire broke out, according to police. She was with a man named Austin Lee Edwards, 28, of North Chesterfield, Virginia.

According to detectives, Edwards met the underage girl online “through the common form of online deception known as catfishing.”

According to police, Edwards drove to Riverside from Virginia, where he parked his car in a neighbor’s driveway and strolled to the teen’s house. According to investigators, Edwards enticed the adolescent into an online romance.

“We had a grandmother, grandfather and a mother of this teen murdered by this suspect who traveled from across the country for, most likely, the sexual exploitation of this teenager,” RPD Ofc. Ryan Railsback said on Sunday during an interview with our Los Angeles sister station, ABC7 Eyewitness News. “What happened here in terms of the ‘catfishing’ as they call it … that common practice of, you know, online deception where you’re pretending to be someone else.”

Later that day, Edwards was discovered driving with the teen through San Bernardino County by the county sheriff’s department in the unincorporated town of Kelso.

Deputies shot and killed Edwards after he fired rounds at them, according to police. According to officials, the teen was not wounded and is safe.

According to investigators, Edwards previously worked for the Virginia State Police before joining the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our hearts go out to the Winek family and their loved ones during this time of tremendous grief, as this is a tragedy for all Riversiders,” Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez said. “This is simply another horrifying reminder of the cyber predators who prey on our children. If you haven’t previously discussed online and social media safety with your children, do it now. If you haven’t already, start now to better protect them.”

The precise reason of death for the Winek family is unknown.

The cause of the house fire is still being investigated, while police stated that “it appears at this point to have been intentionally ignited.”

Neighbors told Eyewitness News at a vigil on Saturday that the Winek family was always neighborly and went out of their way to aid the community. The victims’ families were present but refused to speak with the reporters.

Some have expressed their grief.

“I simply want everyone to know how wonderful they were. They do not deserve it. I’m not eating anything. I’m not going to sleep. It just hit me like a ton of bricks “Bonnie Davis, who has lived next door to the Wineks for two decades, agreed. “They were just that type people that you would just never wake up to think that you would hear this of them.”

The vigil was arranged by a woman who only wanted to be identified as Joi, who told Eyewitness News she was new to the Riverside community before hearing the news.

“When I heard that news, I just dropped to my stomach like, ‘What do you mean they didn’t make it?'” she added.

Joi recalls Mark Winek stepping up to assist her after learning she was a single mother. He coached young athletes at Arlington High School, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family.

“He said right away, ‘I’m going to mow your lawn, I’m going to help you out when you’re not here,'” Joi explained.

Though the victims’ families did not speak directly to Eyewitness News, they did issue a public statement to those who attended the vigil, saying, “Thank you for being here honoring my family and respecting our privacy at this time.”

The family stated that they may issue another statement on Monday.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Josh Ontko at (951) 353-7135 or JOntko@RiversideCA.gov, or Detective Bryan Galbreath at (951) 353-7105 or BGalbreath@RiversideCA.gov.

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