Firefighter whose family died in fire at home donates organs so others can live

The fire Tuesday at firefighter Walter Stewart’s Montclare home while he was on duty has now claimed the lives of his wife and three children.

SHARE Firefighter whose family died in fire at home donates organs so others can live
A board-up crew works Wednesday on the home of a Chicago firefighter in 2500 block of North Rutherford Avenue less than 24 hours after a fire broke out at the Montclare neighborhood house on the Northwest Side.

A worker boards up a window Wednesday, the morning after a blaze at the home of firefighter Walter Stewart.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The lives of two more children have been claimed in a blaze at a Chicago firefighter’s Northwest Side home that also took the lives of his wife and eldest son.

Firefighter Walter Stewart’s 2-year-old son Emory Day-Stewart and daughter Autumn Day-Stewart, 9, both died Friday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The firefighter’s wife, Summer Day-Stewart, 36, was pronounced dead Thursday night, and his 7-year-old son Ezra Stewart died Wednesday.

A fire department source said Stewart agreed to donate organs from all four family members so that others who need transplants could live.

The fire department first notified fellow members about whether anyone was in need of a donation, the source said.

Stewart, a firefighter-EMT with the department for nearly three years, was working about 9 p.m. Tuesday on Truck 55 in Old Norwood Park when he learned a fire had erupted at his Montclare home in the 2500 block of North Rutherford Avenue, according to fire officials and a spokesman for Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2.

Stewart was rushed home by a battalion chief and tried to resuscitate his wife using CPR.

Fire officials said the fire started in the kitchen of his home.

Emory and Autumn succumbed to injuries related to smoke inhalation, the medical examiner’s office said.

The firefighters union is collecting donations for Stewart’s family at: classy.org/give/473700.

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