Cancer survivor, great-grandfather dead after Burnside home catches fire for 2nd time: family

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, February 19, 2024
2-time cancer survivor, great-grandfather dead after South Side fire
Howard Criddell is dead after a Chicago fire broke out at a Burnside home in the 600 block of East 89th Place for the second time, his family said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of Howard Criddell told ABC7 he was someone everyone could count on.

Howard's daughter, Danielle Newton, said he was a two-time cancer survivor who dedicated his life to his family and community and will be deeply missed.

"For my dad to not be here with me is just devastating," Danielle said. "I just I don't know what I am going to do without my dad."

Relatives of 70-year-old Howard are devastated by their loss after a Sunday evening fire broke out inside the family's home.

"I just seen him two days ago. I was just over here and he was just bringing groceries out, and this is unbelievable," said Frank Criddell, Howard's brother.

Danielle said the fire happened in the coach home, where her father and another relative lived. That's directly behind her grandmother's home along 89th Place near Langley.

"The fire department came in, and we didn't know what was going on. We just thought it was a false alarm, and all of a sudden, we went back there, and my father's house was on fire," Danielle said.

Chicago police said the 70-year-old was found unconscious and died at the scene. The family said the coach home had just been remodeled after a previous fire broke out, gutting the entire home.

"I'm trying to find out why, why, why? I mean, this is the second time something like this happened," Frank said. "He was my older brother. I looked up to him, and he was just a good guy."

Now, Howard is being remembered as a dedicated family man who loved to cook and make others laugh among his many other talents.

"He used to fix cars, ride motorcycles. He was the president of the UAW. He worked for Midas International," Danielle said. "He's going to be truly missed by this family because out of everything. He was a rock."

Howard's family said their other relative was able to make it out of the coach home.

Authorities said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.