Chicago firefighter, 30, dies after suffering injuries in apartment blaze

MaShawn Plummer's mother said, "He died doing what he loved doing."

Chicago firefighter MaShawn Plummer died this week from injuries suffered while battling a fire at an apartment building on Thursday morning. 

Plummer, 30, was among the firefighters at Engine 94 in Portage Park called to a basement fire at a two-floor apartment building located in the 3100 block of North Marmora Avenue, in the Belmont Central neighborhood. He was critically injured while fighting the blaze and died five days later on Tuesday, CBS Chicago reports.

Two men were burned in the fire and transported to Resurrection Hospital, where one of them also died. A woman also suffered injuries and was transported to Loyola Medical Center.

A prayer vigil was held outside the firehouse on Grace Street, where Plummer’s family, colleagues, and friends from the neighborhood gathered on Wednesday to mourn the fallen firefighter. 

“I am grateful for the service that he was able to do. His heart, he did that job because of his heart,” Plummer’s mother, Felicia Plummer Townsend, said at the memorial service, Fox 32 reports. “From the moment he got that letter saying it was time to report to the training academy, he was so overjoyed. He told me, ‘This is my time to make a difference.'”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker tweeted,Mashawn Plummer was one of our state’s most courageous public servants. We live in a safer world because of his unwavering, unselfish sense of responsibility – he was taken from us far too young. MK and I send our thoughts to his family and the entire @CFDMedia community.”

“He knew what he wanted to do, he wanted to move up in the ranks, even being the chief. He had goals, big goals,” said Jermaine Plummer, his father.

“He had his life mapped out but, but God said ‘No,’” Plummer’s mother said.

“He died doing what he loved doing. I have solace in knowing he died with dignity and grace and being of service,” she told the crowd of about 100 people. 

“He died a hero,” said Plummer’s father. 

“I have to know what happened from the time he got on that truck. From the time he got to the hospital. I need to know, I need to know,” his mother said.

An investigation into what caused Plummer’s death is reportedly underway.

“This would have been his first big fire,” she added. “He’s put out kitchen fires and stuff like that. He was never apprehensive about going into a big fire, but in time he knew that would happen.”

On Tuesday evening, a long procession led Plummer’s body from Loyola University Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized, to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, where firefighters lined the entrance as his body was transported to the facility.

“He loved life. That was his mission, to show love to anybody. There’s never been a time that anybody said anything negative about him…but that positivity and love he showed everywhere he went,” said Townsend Plummer.

“My heart is heavy but I have so much joy because I know he touched so many people. He was that bright light in the room, the person that made you just say, ‘Who is that guy? I want to meet him,’ she said.

Plummer is survived by his mother, father, and four sisters.

Have you subscribed to theGrio podcasts “Dear Culture” or “Acting Up?” Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download today!