Chicago firefighter dies of ‘complications of COVID-19,’ fire officials say

“Firefighter Mario Araujo, a proud member of CFD Truck Company 25 passed away this evening,” department spokesman Larry Langford tweeted Tuesday.

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Mario Araujo

Mario Araujo

Chicago Fire Department

A Chicago firefighter died Tuesday evening after a battle with the coronavirus, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

“CFD has lost one of our own to complications of COVID-19. Firefighter Mario Araujo, a proud member of CFD Truck Company 25 passed away this evening,” department spokesman Larry Langford tweeted Tuesday.

Araujo, 49, joined the fire department in October 2003 and spent most of his career on Truck 25, which operates out of Engine 102 in Rogers Park on the North Side, Langford said. He is the first member of the fire department to die of the virus.

“This tragic loss underscores the seriousness that we face as a city and a nation,” Langford said. “CFD membersput 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.”

An autopsy Wednesday found Araujo died of acute respiratory disease and sepsis brought on by a COVID-19 infection, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. Hypertensive cardiovascular disease also contributed to his death.

At least 46 members of the fire department have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Last week, a 50-year-old undercover officer became the first member of the Chicago Police Department to die of the coronavirus.

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