People.com Entertainment TV 'Chicago Fire' 's Yuriy Sardarov Speaks Out About His Departure: 'The Greatest 7 Years of My Life' The actor who plays Otis on the NBC show spoke out for the first time since the character's death in the season 8 premiere By Breanne L. Heldman Breanne L. Heldman Instagram Twitter Breanne L. Heldman is the Senior Editor of TV for PEOPLE. In this role, she oversees all television coverage — and coverage of TV stars — across print and digital. Heldman joined PEOPLE in April 2018 after two years as Senior Editor at Entertainment Weekly. Prior to that, she held editorial positions at Yahoo Entertainment, MTV, E!, and the New York Daily News. The Boston University alum and Cincinnati native frequently appears as an entertainment expert on programs such as Good Morning America, Access Hollywood and the People Every Day podcast and has moderated panels at Lincoln Center, 92Y, New York Comic Con and more. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 26, 2019 01:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email If you thought you were finished crying over that shocking death in the season 8 premiere of Chicago Fire, think again. Yuriy Sardarov, the actor who plays Brian “Otis” Zvonecek, posted to Instagram a touching farewell to the character he’s played since the show premiered in 2012. “Thank you for the greatest 7 years of my life… #ChicagoFireForever,” Sardarov, 31, wrote beside a poem he titled “Adieu” for the fallen fictional firefighter. “A fond farewell to Otishe’ll forever be my friendAnd to all of you that knew himand loved him to the end “He had a bushy mustacheand a soul patch to bootIt’s never really overhe’ll always love you too.” Chicago Fire Boss Explains That Heartbreaking Premiere Death — ‘It Was Right for the Show’ Adrian Burrows/NBC “I’ve known Yuriy since he was a junior in college in Michigan,” showrunner Derek Haas told PEOPLE. “We did a movie together before Chicago Fire and it’s been awesome watching him develop into the actor that he is… It was tough making that call [to kill off Otis], but I knew it was right for the show. I tried to make it not meaningless.” “I’m not worried about Yuriy because I just know he’s going to go do amazing things and I get to say, ‘Oh, yeah, well he started on Chicago Fire,'” Haas added. “I’m like a proud Papa; I get to watch these things happen.” Several of Sardarov’s costars have commented as well. “Love you brother,” Taylor Kinney wrote in the comments of Sardarov’s Instagram post. “Thank you all so very much for your kind words and b-day wishes,” wrote Joe Minoso, who plays Otis’ best friend and roommate Joe Cruz, alongside an image featuring the Russian phrase that wound up the character’s last words. “But most importantly thank you @yursar for your endless love, your tremendous talent and your unwavering friendship. Our show will never be the same. #brothers #ChicagoFire #RIPOtis.” “I love you. I miss you,” Kara Killmer wrote in a photo-filled post. Christian Stolte shared a meme of Otis in the firetruck that read, “Seven years in a truck with this man. Long hours, sweating, freezing, waiting — interminable waiting — building fictional worlds between set-ups, universes held together with comedy, populated with unlikely idiots with bizarre motivations. Laughter so prolonged and intense it often felt like physical brutality. I miss him every day. How lucky I have been. Seven years in a truck with this man.” Stolte’s caption added, “Rest In Peace, Brian Zvonecek. Long Live Yuriy Sardarov. Love you, my brother.” Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on NBC.