Our Pledge To You

News

Autopsy: Chicago paramedic found dead in burning home took own life

Mike Strubin was visiting his parents across the street from where the fire happened. "We were in the backyard on our deck, and we see the smoke in the sky, just heavily dark smoke." | Mike Strubin

A Chicago Fire Department paramedic found dead Thursday afternoon in a house set ablaze in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the far South Side took his own life, an autopsy has found.

Rob Spoon, 28, was found in the basement of the home after fire crews responded to the blaze about 3:30 p.m. near 114th Street and St. Louis, authorities said.

An autopsy Friday found that Spoon died of a gunshot wound to the head, with thermal burns listed as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled a suicide.

Rob Spoon, a Chicago Fire Department paramedic and a firefighter with the Hometown Fire Protection District, died after being found inside a burning home in Mount Greenwood. | Facebook

The Chicago Fire Department confirmed Spoon had been a paramedic with the department for two-and-a-half years, and had been a Hometown firefighter for ten years.

Mike Strubin, visiting his parents across the street, saw the fire. “We were in the backyard on our deck, and we see the smoke in the sky, just heavily dark smoke,” he said.

Strubin and his father called the fire department around 3:30 p.m. and were met on the block by a neighbor and a group of construction workers. The workers broke down the back door, fearing a dog was in the home.

Strubin said black smoke started billowing out through the front windows. “Stuff was falling,” he said. “You could feel the heat standing right across the street.”

He said fire crews “had it put out right away. The fire seemed mostly confined to the front because they hit it a few times with the hose, and it was out. But, still, just tons of black smoke just kept coming out for the next 15, 20 minutes, at least.”

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Spoon’s funeral expenses had raised more than $10,600 toward a $15,000 goal Friday evening.

The man was found in the basement of the home near 114th Street and St. Louis. | Tom Schuba / Sun-Times