City aims to tear down South Side building where Chicago firefighter died

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Funeral arrangements have been set for Chicago Firefighter Daniel Capuano, who died battling a blaze at a South Chicago warehouse. There is also a push to tear down that building.

Flags stood at half-staff at the fire station where 42-year-old Capuano worked. His fellow firefighters, family and friends will gather at his visitation on Thursday and at his funeral on Friday, at St. Rita of Cascia High School.

PHOTOS: Fallen Chicago firefighter honored

Fire officials said Capuano fell through a hole where an elevator shaft used to be early Monday morning, in a building in the 9200-block of South Baltimore Avenue. He was searching the second floor for the heart of the fire. Officials said there were several holes in that floor - and it was filled with heavy smoke.

The city said the owner of the building is responsible for 15 code violations, including the illegal dismantling of warehouse elevators without proper safety barricades around them.

The owner said there wasn't any work being done on the vacant warehouse and therefore, no need for work permits. He and his attorney are scheduled to appear before a judge in housing court on Thursday.

The city is working to demolish the warehouse, citing safety concerns.

Capuano was a 15-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. His grandfather was also a firefighter. An entire community is mourning his death.

"It's tough for the guys, you know. We've been through this before and we just have to trudge along," said Larry Kane, CFD Battalion Chief.

"We have to carry on. Dan would want us to carry on. Dan would want us to go out there and fight that fire for him and save those lives for him and protect that property," said Dan McVicker, a Chicago firefighter.

"How we honor Dan is by coming our doing our jobs best we can every day," said Brian Helmold, CFD Dept. District Chief.

Capuano is survived by his wife Julie and their children, Andrew, Amanda and Nick.

BMO Harris Bank has established a memorial account to benefit Capuano's family. All BMO Harris Bank locations are currently accepting check and cash donations from customers and the general public, with donation funds supporting the family. Checks can be made payable to the Daniel Capuano Memorial Fund.

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