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Thread: IL Fire Captain Dies on Duty

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    IL Fire Captain Dies on Duty

    IL Fire Captain Dies on Duty


    Capt. Thomas Gotkowski of the Tinley Park, Illinois Volunteer Fire Department died of a heart attack Sunday while assisting police.

    Gotkowski, 55, had just finished ventilating a condominium so police could enter and retrieve a deceased body that had been there about five days, said Chief Kenneth Dunn. It was about 4:45 p.m.

    "Tom was sitting on the back of the engine, and appeared not to be feeling too good," Dunn said. When questioned by an assistant chief, Gotkowski said he was okay.

    Soon after, however, he went to the ambulance on the scene and personnel realized he was having a heart attack. They took him to Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, where he died in the emergency room.

    Gotkowski leaves behind a wife and three grown children. He worked for Dominicks food in Chicago, and had 25 years of service with the fire department.

    "You know, he just really loved the fire department," Dunn said. "He also loved to fish."

    The Tinley Park Fire Department has 100 volunteers and serves a population of 49 thousand.

    The wake will take place Tuesday from 2 to 9 p.m. with the firefighter walk-through at 7 p.m., at the Brady Gill Funeral Home in Tinley Park at 165th and Oak Park Avenue.

    The funeral mass will be Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. at St Julie Billiart Church, at 7399 West 159th St., followed by burial at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Sepulcher Cemtery in Chicago Ridge.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Gotkowski, Thomas G.

    Age: 55
    Rank: Captain
    Status: Volunteer
    Incident Date: 10/01/2000
    Incident Time: 16:30
    Death Date: 10/01/2000

    Cause of Death: Stress/Exertion
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Emergency Duty: No
    Duty Type: Other
    Activity Type: Ventilation
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Tinley Park Volunteer Fire Department
    17355 South 68th Court
    Tinley Park, Illinois 60477
    Chief: Kenneth Dunn

    Final Summary:
    Captain Gotkowski and his engine company were assisting the police department with the ventilation of a condominium. A resident of the home had passed away of natural causes two weeks prior and had not been discovered until that day, ventilation of the condominium was needed. Captain Gotkowski assisted with the placement of a ventilation fan and assisted with the repositioning and stacking of fans. Captain Gotkowski felt ill and was sitting on the back of an engine. He walked to a nearby ambulance where it was determined that he was experiencing a heart attack. He was transported to the hospital where he suffered a fatal heart attack. This incident was the fifth call of the shift for Captain Gotkowski. According to the fire chief, Captain Gotkowski was the first line-of-duty death for the department since it was founded in 1901.

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