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Roofing worker who died Saturday ‘a brother’ to union members

The top of a parking garage at 437 N. Orleans is charred Saturday afternoon following a fatal fire. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The top of a parking garage at 437 N. Orleans is charred Saturday afternoon following a fatal fire. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The family of a roofer killed Saturday in a parking garage fire soon may receive financial help from his union.

Terrell Webster was a 14-year member of Local 11 of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, said spokesman
Gary Menzel, who called Webster’s death “devastating.” There are plans to set up a GoFundMe to help Webster’s family, Menzel said.

Webster was killed in a fire that broke out around 1:20 p.m. Saturday in the penthouse elevator area of the Mart Parc Orleans garage, at 437 N. Orleans St.. Four others were seriously injured, fire officials said.

Though it was too early to speculate — the fire is still being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — Menzel said Webster was working in an enclosed space, “which can make things more dangerous.” Webster and his team may have been working with a glue that’s flammable, Menzel said, and a spark could have caused the glue to ignite.

Webster, a 47-year-old construction worker, was found dead at the scene, according to fire officials and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Menzel said he has spoken to Webster’s wife and two sons.

“Anytime you lose a union member and a loved one from the family it’s a tragic situation,” Menzel said. “We lost a brother.”

Menzel said of the other four workers, two may be fit to leave the hospital in the coming days. Because of their injuries, two others may have to stay in the hospital longer.