Natural disasters are inevitable and in the case of fires, most often then not deadly. My condolences go out to the family of retired Chicago firefighter Richard Scheidt, whose death at the age of 81 brought much heartfelt response from numerous Chicago Tribune readers who heard of the news yesterday.
According to the Tribune, “Scheidt died Monday at his home in southwest suburban Oak Lawn, a day after he was brought home from the hospital following a minor stroke a month ago, according to relatives.”
Scheight is remembered for his courage and bravery in the 1958 Our Lady of the Angels school fire on Chicago’s West side, one of the worst tragedies in Chicago which killed 92 children and three nuns. Many victims and witnesses at that time can recall the iconic photo of Scheight carrying the body of 10-year-old John Jajkowski Jr. According to the Chicago Tribune, Scheight, a member of Rescue Squad 1, carried the bodies of 20 children from the school, in which Jajkowski was the first.
To those he is remembered by and to Scheight: thank you for putting your life on the line and for your lifelong services. Rest in peace and God bless.
- Natalia Kosk