This was a real dandy. The Fire Alarm office calltaker and dispatcher was the late Dick Hyland. You can also hear Bob Phelan as well as Matt Tomlin briefly on the radio and Al Andersen was the switchboard guy that handled most of the radio stuff. I took this job in. What a night this was! The DDC was Ed Altman way before his commissioner days and the responding District Chief was Louis Galante (which explains why this wasn’t a 5-11). Some other voices you may find familiar Jim Corbett on truck 12, Bob Welch as “3a”, Bill O’Boyle on Squad 1.
I’m sure there are many more to be recognized upon further review. This fire turned into a real spectacle. It ignited a scrapyard at 14th & State that went to a box and it also burned up El ties along the tracks for about 2 blocks. To top it off Snorkel 1 got stuck in the partially raised position and members had to be rescued via ground ladder as the radiant heat was getting brutal. After the building collapsed they found a guy who was sleeping in a vehicle next to the fire building who had to be extricated with a hurst tool since the car was squashed by the falling wall.
I was standing too close at the time of the collapse and as I was running saw a member get knocked down by flying bricks. I believe he broke his leg … a narrow miss for me. This was a real all time classic job. I will never forget it.
January 2, 1962. Western at Harrison in Chicago @ 8:30 am. Fire was in the 3-story Acorn Luggage factory and went to a 4-11. The first image is looking North towards the old Crane Junior College (high school still there but the building you see in the image is gone). You can also see the old Chicago Stadium off in the far distance. Second image looking across Western to the Southeast. Final image showing Snorkels working in the alley or what today would be called the “C” side. The truck company parked on Western looks to be 19 and I am only going off of what the number looks like on the door. Our staff historians will correct me if I’m wrong. If you look closely in the background, you can see the huge Phillips 66 neon sign that used to sit over the Eisenhower and the old Harris Bank Christmas billboard on top of one of the exposure buildings. Hope you enjoy this for #throwbackthursday. Eric Haak
This is the radio traffic from a 3-11 alarm with a disaster plan 3 at 6531 Lowe in Chicago (2/25/79). This occurred while my dad was chief in the 12th battalion … first thing in the morning. The chief he normally relieved, Bill Foran was acting in the big buggy and had not yet been relieved so he was responding as the division marshal. The captain of truck 20, who had some classic radio replies was Richard Fitzpatrick. The voice of the englewood office was Harry Haddon back in his heyday. This building had super long hallways, masks were barely in use at this time and the people were hanging out all over the place. This was a real dandy. Steve Redick
Saturday (2/13) is the 45th anniversary of the fire and explosion at 6117 N Elston Ave in Chicago which resulted in the line of duty deaths of CFD Lieutenant William Quinn and Firefighter Martin Dyer. Both men were inside of the A. A. Englehardt Heating and Appliance Dealership when an explosion sent the roof crashing down on them. I just happened to recently acquire these color photos of the search for these men as well as the removal of FF Dyer in the final image. The battalion chief seen looking toward the camera in the one image is Battalion 22. Also Commissioner Quinn can be seen in the background of the one image. The photographer was George Mars Cassidy. Thought I would share these as I do believe they may not have been seen by the public before now.
Going into the way-back machine for this fire on the northwest corner of Belmont and Pulaski. This building still stands today and is still a corner tavern. Kind of a neat series of images as the unknown photographer catches companies pulling up with smoke pushing out the side door. As the fire is brought under control, you can see a dog mounted on top of Engine 91’s Ahrens-Fox. The final image is kind of funny as a car goes driving down Belmont with a couch tied to the roof. I could not find any markings to identify either of the trucks, and in the final image there is what I believe is a squad on Pulaski to the far right.