Visitation held for fallen Chicago firefighter Jermaine Pelt

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 14, 2023
Visitation held for fallen CFD firefighter Jermaine Pelt
The Chicago Fire Department is mourning fallen firefighter Jermaine Pelt at a visitation Thursday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A visitation for Chicago firefighter Jermaine Pelt was held Thursday afternoon.

Pelt was killed Tuesday while battling a fire in the West Pullman neighborhood. One day later, CFD Lieutenant Jan Tchoryk died while responding to a Gold Coast high-rise fire.

Mourners began arriving at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home in Oak Lawn around 3 p.m. to pay their respects. Many knew Pelt, but others didn't yet felt compelled to honor his sacrifice.

"When one of us are killed trying to save others and protect others, we know what that means. And that can be any one of us," said Edward Kelly, general president of the international Association of Firefighters.

Inside the funeral home, Pelt's casket was draped in the city flag. Firefighters lined up one by one to honor his sacrifice.

Pelt was an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. He died of smoke inhalation while fighting a house fire.

RELATED: Chicago Fire Department mourning after 2 firefighters die in line of duty a day apart

The 49-year-old Roseland native was a registered nurse, a paramedic and an instructor at the fire academy. He was a father of two and the youngest of four brothers. Recently, he proudly walked his 28-year-old daughter down the aisle to get married.

Mourners to gather for funeral of fallen Chicago Fore Department Lt. Tchoryk

His father is an Army veteran and his mother works in healthcare. Pelt's desire to serve and help people are what many are remembering.

"He's my hero, and he'll always be my hero. And that's a good memory to have," said John Pelt, father. "I'm at peace because I know one day I'll see him again. I just believ ehtat."

"It's hard because like I said he was a really good person," said Tracy Johnson, friend. "And it's not too many good people that you find in this world that are willing to take some time out with you."

Pelt was also a great firehouse cook, according to his CFD brothers and sisters.

Many of the firefighters attended Lt. Jan Tchoryk's funeral Thursday morning before coming to Oak Lawn to pay their respects to Pelt.

"If you see a fireman on the street, tell them thank you. Same thing for police. You know, they're out there risking their lives," said Michael Gruber, retired suburban firefighter.

Pelt's funeral is 11 a.m. Friday at the House of Hope in Chicago.