01-17-2020: Chicago FD Truck Co. 48 reported a fire at 1539 S Hamlin Friday evening (1/17/20) during a bad snow storm. Building was a vacant, 3-sty ordinary, 30’x75′. Engine 109 was the first engine since Engine 38 was tied up on an EMS run. Battalion 14 arrived and boxed it right away. Companies went defensive due to forcible entry problems and fire being on all three floors already. Engines 38 & 99 were the box engines and both were feeding the master streams (TL5 & SS1). 2-2-4 pulled a 2-11 Alarm shortly after for manpower purposes. I don’t believe the 2-11 engines were used. Wind gusts up to 35mph and heavy snow for the duration of fire which made it very difficult to fight this job.
Here are some images taken early on during the Chicago Fire Department’s 2-11 Alarm this morning (6/9/19) at 62nd and Harlem. The fire quickly overtook several units and with companies being met by bad hydrants, the alarm was elevated to a still and box. What you can’t see from these pictures is that for each exterior unit, there was another unit that was only accessible from an interior hallway. With the fire progressing over the top of those exterior units and the roof being declared unstable, companies were forced into a defensive position. Squad 5A was positioned in the interior lot and aerial operations commenced with Tower Ladder 54 being set up on Harlem. Tower Ladder 39 was also set up but I’m not sure if they ever flowed water. The incident also led to some interesting situations like Engine 8 pumping at the corner of 61st and Harlem and a Summit engine supplying water to the Chicago incident.
The city had been buffeted by sustained high winds for a full day at the time of this job, and still high wind gusts throughout the event as well as miserably cold conditions. Two buildings were involved with some minor communication to a 3rd larger building. I believe the original fire building may have been a pizza joint. Rumor had it that high winds caused arcing power lines which ignited the siding, though I’m not sure how accurate this is. The streets in this area were raised so from street level they appear to be single-story buildings but in the rear they are two stories, a unique situation in this area. All the photos and video can be seen here:
Chicago FD Ambulance 77 reported smoke from the roof of a 3-sty building at 1838 S. St. Louis 2/24/19. The Main Fire Alarm Office filled it out and gave the 14th Battalion a working fire right away. Engine 38 arrived and had heavy fire showing from a 3-sty brick, three-flat in the rear, extending to the exposure to the south. Battalion 14 boxed it shortly after his arrival. Chicago was experiencing very high winds gusting upwards of 50MPH. After trying to make the 3rd floor, the chief pulled all companies out of the building to regroup. Multiple handlines were dropped from 38 and 109. I believe that the 2-11 was requested for manpower. A full gallery can be found here
Sunday (2/25) was an intensely windy day in the Chicago area which made for difficult firefighting conditions. The second 2-11 alarm for Chicago on this day was at 88th Street and Commercial Avenue and started in a pizza parlor that had occupied that address since the 1950’s. The fire was reported to have started in the rear of the structure and heavy winds blowing across from the west quickly escalated the incident. Eric Haak
more photos at Chicagoareafire.com
Here are a few images from the 2-11 at 25th and Sacramento this afternoon in Chicago (1/30/19). Companies made an aggressive interior attack and went defensive as I was walking up. The first image was taken only a couple minutes after the companies evacuated the building and it appeared conditions deteriorated rapidly.