Fallen Chicago Firefighter Jermaine Pelt Remembered at Balloon Release

An emotional balloon release took place outside a Pullman high school Friday as family, friends and community members remembered a dedicated public servant who lost his life.

“The only time I had to come here was graduation, and he did well,” said John Pelt, the father of Chicago Firefighter Jermaine Pelt.

Jermaine Pelt died Tuesday while battling a multi-alarm blaze Tuesday morning in Pullman – the neighborhood he grew up in.

On Good Friday, the firefighter’s body was transported from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office to Blake and Lamb Funeral Home, where services will be held next week for the father of two.

“Jermaine has made me a very proud father,” John Pelt said.

Jermaine Pelt is one of two Chicago firefighters who died in as many days.

The body of Lt. Jan Tchoryk was brought to St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church Friday, where he’ll be remembered at services in the coming days. On Wednesday, Tchoryk died of natural causes related to cardiovascular disease while leading his team up 27 flights of stairs at a high-rise fire along Lake Shore Drive.

“We’ve been in touch with the families, to let them know we’re going to be in constant support of you guys,” Deputy Chief Anthony Frazier of the Chicago Fire Department said earlier this week.

With so much sadness in recent days, a brief moment of levity occurred Friday – at the balloon release in Jermaine Pelt’s honor.

“Since Jermaine’s not here, Jermaine loved everybody,” his father said. “I’m not gonna take all the credit, but most of that came from me. Laughing.”

During this difficult time, the Corliss and Pelt families are sharing their deep trust in God.

“God gave his only begotten son for us, and he took him back. And he gave me Jermaine, and he took him back. So I know absent from the body Is present with God,” John Pelt added. “And that’s what I stand on. I believe in God.”

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