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Family, friends gather for funeral of fallen Chicago firefighter Andrew "Drew" Price

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Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt pays tribute to fallen firefighter Drew Price 04:49

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The funeral for fallen Chicago firefighter EMT Andrew "Drew" Price took place on Monday.

Price, 39, died a week ago after falling through a roof down a light shaft while battling a blaze at a restaurant in Lincoln Park. Several hours later, his colleagues lined the street in support outside the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, 2121 W. Harrison St.

Firefighter Price has been with the Fire Department since March 2009. He was most recently assigned to Truck 44, based at 2714 N. Halsted St. 

He is the fourth firefighter killed in the line of duty this year. 


"Without him in our lives, there's a void that can never be filled"

Jordan Price pays tribute to brother, fallen Firefighter Drew Price 04:21

Drew Price's brother, Jordan, said their family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they've received from the city since his death.

"Without him in our lives, there's a void that can never be filled," Jordan said. "Drew lived a life worth emulating, and as his lasting legacy, I hope he inspired you to live a life of gratitude."

He also said "words are incapable of expressing the amount of gratitude" they have for the courage his fellow firefighters showed on the day he died.

"Please know there is an immense amount of respect that we hold for the bravery you display in stepping into the unknown to the sound of alarms," he said. "Drew took the utmost pride in working with you as colleagues, partners, and friends."

Jordan asked his brother's friends and colleagues to honor him by sharing stories of the time the spent together, and asked mourners not just to grieve for him, but "to recognize how lucky we are to have had someone in our lives so significant that saying goodbye is all the more difficult."

"Drew held a unique ability to make everyone near him feel special. He had an unrelenting and unselfish concern for the safety and well-being of others. A natural caretaker at heart, he couldn't help but put his own priorities aside to make sure everyone else's needs were above his own," Jordan said. "He was so full of life, positivity, and a wild sense of adventure that it was hard to imagine anything or anyone bringing him down."

By Todd Feurer

"He was always watching out for us like a big brother"

Fallen Firefighter Drew Price's colleagues pay tribute to "big brother" 33:18

Firefighter Carlos Gonzalez said he first met Price on his first day on the job in March 2021, and at the end of the shift, Price texted him to tell him "keep up the good work."

"It meant a lot to me. I didn't know it then, but it was the beginning of a special bond, and that was just one text of many, many messages between Drew and I," he said.

Gonzalez said Price always took the time to help fellow firefighters fulfill their potential, and tried to keep an upbeat attitude in the firehouse with jokes and pranks.

"He was always watching out for us like a big brother," he said. "Drew, even though you're gone, we're still a team, and just like your Batman call sign, I know you're still watching over us."

By Todd Feurer

Price "always wanted to find a way to be happy and shift everything to positive."

Dustin Jeffers, who has been a friend and colleague of Price's for 10 years, said Price "always wanted to find a way to be happy and shift everything to positive."

Jeffers said Price never liked to use the letter "i," preferring to use the letter "y" instead, for example spelling "like" as "lyke."

"I would like to think he never liked the letter 'i,' because everything in his life was about others. He was always complimenting people and doing small things for others. He was truly selfless," Jeffers said.

Jeffers said Price was also a prankster who would hide under fellow firefighters' beds to jump out and scare them.

On the day before he died in the line of duty, Price went to Costco with his wife to buy a Christmas plant, and bought another for Jeffers and his family, and Jeffers said his own son couldn't understand why Price didn't drive up in a fire truck.

"I'm so grateful for that Christmas plant visit. It was the last time I saw him in person. We got to hug both him and Lara. A day I will never forget," he said.

Jeffers said one of his favorite memories of Price was his friend supporting him as he ran the Chicago Marathon, sitting in a chair for two hours along the marathon route to watch him run by for about 15 seconds.

"That's the type of guy Drew is … was," he said.

By Todd Feurer

"Rest easy now, my brother. Take it all in and just chill.

Price's colleagues at Engine 55/Truck 44/Battalion 12 remembered him as "a genuine, funny, big-hearted, thoughtful, hard-working, gentle, and caring person."

"He made an impression on all those he came in contact with in his meaningful 14-year career," Chicago Fire Battalion Chief Pat Gallagher said.

Price's fellow firefighters said he joined the CFD Blaze football team even though he'd never played football before, and volunteered to do whatever he could to help out, playing both defense and special teams.

"He had this love for it, and he wanted to get involved. To him it was a new adventure, an opportunity to meet other guys on the job," Gallagher said.

Price showed the same determination and pride in his work, eagerly taking advice from veterans before becoming a fire rig driver himself, and leading by example to show new recruits how to do the job properly.

"What a life to live where you can actually recognize and appreciate and be grateful for everything that's happening at the moment it happens," Gallagher said. "We will rebound. We will eventually recover. But most importantly we will always remember Drew for who he is and was. My guy, I hope you have big waves to catch, bright sunshine coming down on you, and a nice warm breeze on your back. I know you've got your hat on backwards, with your sunglasses on, and a nice big smile on your face just enjoying it. May your rest easy now, my brother. Take it all in and just chill. Until we meet again, mahalo, mahalo."

By Todd Feurer

"Thank you for sharing an amazing human being with us"

Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt pays tribute to fallen firefighter Drew Price 04:49

Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt called Price as "a devoted husband, son, husband, uncle, friend, and co-worker."

Nance-Holt said Price was not only a firefighter and emergency medical technician, but an instructor at the fire academy, who helped teach both new recruits and veteran firefighters better physical balance. He also took part in the Fire Department's annual physical fitness challenge, dressing up in costume, once as Batman before most recently taking part in the challenge dressed as the Joker.

"Thank you for sharing an amazing human being with us. I mean amazing. His personality and zest for life were infectious. His impact on his fellow brothers and sisters will live on together," she said. "What I knew about Drew was he brought people together."

By Todd Feurer

"Drew was a man who did those little things to express gratitude."

Rocky Supinger, associate pastor at 4th Presbyterian Church, said he didn't know Price personally, but after hearing about him from family, friends, and colleagues, said "Drew was a man who did those little things to express gratitude."

"We will hear tell today of courage and compassion, of great strength to go with a peaceful easygoing demeanor. We will hear of the love of a husband, a brother, a son and uncle, a colleague," Supinger said. "We are gathered today to give thanks to express our collective gratitude, because Drew was one of the best things in the lives of the people who knew him and loved him."

Supinger shared a story of Price inviting a toddler and his parents into the firehouse after seeing them walking by, and letting the boy into a fire truck to turn on the lights.

"It was one of the coolest experiences we've had as a young family. We cannot tell you how happy it made all of us. He even sent my son home with a kid's firefighter hat. After that experience, my son wanted to be a firefighter for Halloween, and he is absolutely in love with firefighters and with trucks," Supinger said the boy's father wrote.

By Todd Feurer

"I cannot imagine doing life without you my son"

Funeral at Navy Pier for fallen Chicago Firefighter Andrew Price 02:26

A short procession Monday morning at Navy Pier began a day of sorrow and goodbyes.

Firefighters lined up and saluted as a fire engine carrying Price's cremated remains made its way to the east end of Navy Pier, and an honor guard carried the cremains into the memorial service.

Some of Price's loved ones have written tributes in his honor online, including his mother, Rochelle, who wrote, "It was an honor to be your mother."

"I cannot imagine doing life without you my son. You have lived such an exemplary life," she added.

Price's family and friends have said a solo trip to Hawaii shaped his outlook on life; that he lived a life of gratitude, saying "mahalo," meaning "thank you" to express his thanks.

By Sabrina Franza

Loved ones to attend funeral service for fallen CFD firefighter Andrew Price

Loved ones gather for funeral for fallen firefighter Andrew Price 01:48

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The services and funeral for fallen Chicago firefighter and EMT Andrew Price will be held Monday.

The 14-year department veteran died one week ago after suffering severe injuries while battling a fire in Lincoln Park.

As CBS 2's Mugo Odigwe reported, service will begin at noon, but there'll be a short processional along with a private and public visitation before then.

It's all in honor of firefighter Andrew Price. Many called him Drew.

Price was only 39 years old when he died last Monday morning.

He and his colleagues responded to the Lincoln Station restaurant in Lincoln Park to help fight what had started as a kitchen fire.

At some point, Price and other firefighters would go up the roof. That's where Price ended up falling through a light shaft four stories down. He later died at the hospital.

Those who knew Price described him as having a "kid-like" energy, a lovely man who was as sweet as could be.

He leaves behind his wife Lara, a dog, and extended family in Indiana.

His death also leaves another hole within the Chicago Fire Department.

He's the fourth firefighter to die in the line of duty this year.

That's the most since 1998.

We will broadcast it live here on T.V. and streaming on CBS News Chicago.

By Mugo Odigwe
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