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Remembering Chicago Fire Capt. Herbie Johnson, 54

Updated: November 4, 2012 6:50AM



Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago, outside the emergency room:

“Tonight, the Chicago Fire Dept. lost Capt. Herbert Johnson. ... He was responding to a fire in the 2300 block of West 50th Place, 2 1/2 stories. Capt. Johnson was working a part of the fire in the attic. He suffered injuries and was quickly removed to University of Chicago Hospitals. Capt. Johnson suffered second- and third-degree burns. He went into cardiac arrest. ... This fire is under investigation. Our main concern right now is the family.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, outside the emergency room

Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago “just told you what happened. I think you heard in his voice how everybody feels about Herbie and his family. And he has brothers that are in the police department, has also another brother in the fire department. But in there is more than just siblings. It’s an entire family in there. I think you heard in Jose’s voice, while he may have read the facts, I think how everybody feels about Herbie. He touched everybody that ran into contact with him. He was a larger than life person, and it was beyond the Chicago Fire Department. His work on behalf of Chicago Fire Department in New York, for 9/11, is legendary.”

Tom Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Local 2

“Herbie is everything the Chicago Fire Department is about. He was a shining example of what public service is. He will be greatly missed. Both his family at the fire department and his family at home are mourning the loss of a truly great guy, and our hearts and our souls and our prayers go out to his family at this time of their need. We’re at a loss for words. As the mayor said, this doesn’t happen to Herbie, not Herbie.”

Ald. Matt O’Shea:

“We grieve tonight for the entire Johnson family and the many friends and loved ones Herbie leaves behind. Herbie gave freely of himself to many worthy causes, organizing colleagues to travel to New York in the wake of the 9/11 disaster and volunteering with the Bucks for Burn Camp organization.”



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