Man found dead after Near West Side fire was smoking while using oxygen tank

SHARE Man found dead after Near West Side fire was smoking while using oxygen tank
SHARE Man found dead after Near West Side fire was smoking while using oxygen tank

A 78-year-old man who was killed in a fire over the weekend in a Near West Side high-rise building was smoking while on oxygen.

About 11:20 p.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to the blaze on the 11th floor of the 21-story building in the 300 block of South Damen, according to Fire Media Affairs.

“Upon confirmation of the fire in that unit on the 11th floor, we escalated to a 2-11 alarm due to the number of occupants in the building at this time of day and due to the smoke conditions on the 11th floor,” Chicago Fire District Chief Jerry Knapp told reporters at the scene.

Amos Lewis, 78,was found in that unit and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a few minutes after midnight on Sunday, according to fire officials and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Lewis, who lived in the building, was on oxygen at the time of the fire. An autopsy Wednesday found he died of inhalation injuries and careless use of smoking materials. Heart disease as listed as a contributing factor, and his death was ruled an accident.

The blaze was contained to one apartment on the 11th floor, but other tenants on the 11th floor were displaced when their units were rendered uninhabitable, fire officials said. No one else was injured.

The city’s Department of Human Services was called to the scene to assist with housing.

The Latest
The Cubs also called up lefty Brandon Hughes and utility player Christopher Morel.
The boy was transported to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in good condition, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appeared at the ground-breaking to show her support, speaking candidly about how South and West Side neighborhoods have suffered from “racist disinvestment for generations” as predominantly white neighborhoods in Chicago have received the “lion share of investment.”
Abreu doubles in two runs in White Sox’ 3-0 victory over Royals
“In a neighborhood with the most youth in the entire city of Chicago and some of the least amount of greenspace, projects like this are a game-changer,” said New Life Center Pastor Matt DeMateo.