Neighborhood Holds Collection For Fallen Firefighter's Children

Steve Miller
May 31, 2018 - 6:57 pm

Firefighter/paramedic Gaspar Gutierrez collects donations (WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – The Garfield Ridge neighborhood that was home to Chicago Fire Department diver Juan Bucio has raised some money to help his two young sons.

It is a firefighter tradition:  Fill the boot.

And firefighter/paramedic Gaspar Gutierrez stood quite literally in the middle of Archer Avenue Thursday, asking drivers for money for the two sons of Juan Bucio.

"I'm trying to be as careful as I can, maneuvering through the traffic.  I've got this boot here.  It's quite heavy. It's about ten pounds, and it's not even full,” he said.

"In exchange for whatever donation people are willing to give us, I give them a ribbon or two to wrap around a tree or a pole or whatever, just to signify we're all together.  We're all in this."

A woman stopped her car and made a contribution for Bucio's family.

"He's a part of our community and my children go to the same school his kids go to.”

Al Cacciottolo is leader of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch Group that helped coordinate the event.

“People are coming out, giving us their quarters, dimes, dollars, twenties, hundreds,” he said.

Funeral services have been set for Bucio. He died earlier this week during a rescue operation on the Chicago River.

Juan Bucio
Juan Bucio / Chicago Fire Department