A Chicago firefighter has died from complications related to coronavirus Tuesday night, officials from the department confirmed.

The firefighter, identified as 49-year-old Mario Araujo, had joined the department in October 2003 and had more than 16 years of experience. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford wrote on Twitter that the veteran had spent most of his career working in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

“CFD has lost one of our own to complications of COVID-19. Firefighter Mario Araujo, a proud member of CFD Truck Company 25 passed away this evening. He joined CFD in October of 2003 and spent most of his career at Truck 25. May God bless his soul,” Langford mentioned in the tweet.

Fire Department Commissioner Richard Ford released a statement addressing the veteran’s demise.

“CFD members put themselves in harm’s way without hesitation to selflessly uphold the oath they took to be there for every person they encounter during an emergency situation. Firefighter Araujo’s service will never be forgotten,” Richard Ford said in the statement.

"This tragic loss underscores the seriousness that we face as a city and a nation. We ask that the entire city extend prayers for Firefighter Mario Araujo, his colleagues, and his entire family,” Ford added.

Officials did not mention how Araujo contracted the virus. However, Langford said the department officials and the firefighters union would meet and “look into details of (Araujo’s) death to see how it will be classified,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Last week, an officer from the Chicago Police Department, identified as 50-year-old Marco DiFranco, died due to coronavirus. He was a veteran who had worked with the department for 21 years. DiFranco was the first member of the department to die from the COVID-19. Officials did not reveal how DiFranco had contracted the deadly virus, however, his death was classified as in the line of duty.

So far, 46 employees from the Chicago Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the U.S. so far reported 399,929 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a death toll of 12,911. The total number of cases worldwide has reached 1,434,426 and the death toll has reached 82,220 whereas, 301,768 people have recovered.

The risks to firefighters are enormous and the sacrifice is immense
The risks to firefighters are enormous and the sacrifice is immense AFP / Saeed KHAN
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