Off-Duty Chicago Cop Risks His Life Trying To Save His Dog
CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago police officer was critically injured Monday in a fire that destroyed his home on the city’s Northwest Side. Officer John Zook was in the shower around 4:10 p.m., when he heard his smoke alarm going off, authorities said. When he jumped out, he found smoke and flames had engulfed his home, and called 911.
Zook desperately searched for his 15-year-old dog Crazy, but couldn’t find her, police said. When the heat and smoke became too much, he ran out of the home to grab two breaths of fresh air, and then ran back in to save her.
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When the Chicago Fire Department arrived, firefighters found Zook on the floor, coughing and gasping for air. While they carried him to safety, he told them his dog was still inside, and firefighters were able to rescue her, police said.
Zook was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in critical condition, before he was transferred to Loyola University Medical Center, authorities said. He was treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns to his feet, and is expected to be released from the hospital soon after physical therapy.
A neighbor is taking care of Crazy, who is expected to make a full recovery.
Zook “selflessly served” Chicagoans for more than 27 years, CPD Shakespeare District Cmdr. Fabian A. Saldana said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Saldana said Zook and his family lost nearly everything, and need help.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Zook and Crazy to help with their recovery. More than $8,000 was raised as of Wednesday morning.
Images courtesy of Chicago Police Department