Historic Chicago fire scene

This from Paul Fredericks:

Hello-

My father, Fred Fredericks, was a Chicago firefighter from the late 1950s until his retirement in 1986. He was stationed at 10 W. Hubbard, 81st and Ashland, and Midway Airport. He passed away this fall, and my siblings and I found the attached picture while going through his belongings.

This picture shows my father putting water on a fire, in the winter of a year in the late 50s or early 60s, we believe. 

We thought that visitors to your blog might find it interesting, and might possibly remember some specifics about this fire.

Thank you for your interest.  

-Paul Fredericks, Plainfield, IL

 

vintage Chicago fire scene with firefighter

Chicago firefighter Fred Fredericks at a winter fire scene circa 1955. From the collection of his family.

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North Riverside considers privatizing the fire department (more)

The RBLandmark has this article:

With an important court date looming, the village of North Riverside’s attempt to privatize its fire department got a bit more complicated last week when the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) issued a complaint against the village, charging that it failed or refused to bargain in good faith with the firefighters’ union and retaliated against union employees who engaged in protected union activities.

Melissa Mlynski, executive director of the Illinois Labor Relations Board notified the village on Dec. 8 that it had 15 days to file an answer to the complaint. The matter will be taken up at a hearing in the future.

In the meantime, both the village and firefighters’ union will appear in Cook County Circuit Court on Dec. 18. North Riverside officials hope that Judge Diane Larsen will rule that the village’s contract with the firefighters’ union, which expired April 30, has terminated.  The village filed a lawsuit seeking a ruling on the matter of the contract’s validity on Sept. 12.

A judge invalidating the contract, the village says, would clear the way for hiring Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) to take over fire operations for the village. The company has provided paramedic services for the village for nearly three decades. The village contends it needs to privatize the department in order to get out from under a large and growing pension burden. North Riverside says such a move would save the village $700,000 annually.

The union argues that the contract is still valid and that language in the contract clearly prohibits the village from laying off firefighters and privatizing the department while negotiations are still pending. The village claims that contract talks are at an impasse; the union denies that contention.

On Sept. 18, North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714 filed a demand for arbitration with the Illinois Labor Relations Board. The board approved that demand for arbitration and one brief session has already been held. The next arbitration date has been set for Jan. 22, though that could change depending on what the judge rules on Dec. 18.

The union believes that arbitration is the proper venue for hashing out differences between the village and firefighters.

J. Dale Berry, the local counsel for the firefighters’ union, said the ILRB complaint issued Monday bolsters hat contention.

The complaint, said Berry, also undercuts the village’s claims that there are no facts in dispute and that its lawsuit should be a simple administrative judgment. The village claims in its lawsuit that it had bargained in good faith and had participated in several negotiating sessions with the union before declaring an impasse.

But the complaint filed Monday states that the village failed to respond to union requests to negotiate a new contract until after the village announced publicly it would seek to have PSI take over fire operations.

On June 16, Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. issued a letter to residents announcing that proposed partnership with PSI “to include fire protection services and prevent layoffs.” The village and union didn’t sit down for their first negotiating session until June 24 and reportedly gave the union a take-it-or-leave-it proposal for firefighters to resign their positions with the village and become employees of PSI.

Firefighters refused to accept the proposal.

The complaint also alleges that Fire Chief Brian Basek denied personal and vacation day requests to union officials, including union President Rick Urbinati, Vice President Chris Kribales, Treasurer David Rajk and Union Steward Jason Williams in the wake of that negotiating session. In the past, the complaint states, such requests were granted routinely.

The complaint alleges that the chief’s actions were taken “to retaliate against public employees because they engaged in protected, concerted and union activity.”

thanks Dan

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Oak Park Box Alarm, 12-16-14

This from Code Photography:

Here are some photos of the Oak Park Box Alarm Apartment Fire:

More here: http://codephotography.smugmug.com/Scenes/Oak-Park/Box-Alarm-121614/i-CF3g6T3

-Code Photography.

fire in a two-story apartment building

Code Photography

fire in a two-story apartment building

Code Photography

fire in a two-story apartment building

Code Photography

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Carol Stream FPD terminates battalion chief

From The Daily Herald:

After months of disciplinary proceedings, Carol Stream Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Joseph Gilles has been terminated.

On Monday, the district’s board of trustees voted unanimously to confirm the board of commissioners’ earlier recommendation to terminate Gilles.

Gilles’ hearing had centered on Fire Chief Richard Kolomay’s allegations that Gilles failed to follow orders to sign a performance improvement plan. The plan outlined core issues with Gilles, including that he does not have the proper management and leadership skills, as well as goals for the battalion chief. By not signing the plan, Gilles violated four rules of conduct, according to the allegations.

During the hearing, Gilles’ attorneys argued that Gilles was never ordered to sign the plan, and that even if he was, that order would have been unlawful. But the district’s board of commissioners upheld the charges of misconduct earlier this year. Among its findings, the commissioners found that the chief did order Gilles to sign the performance plan and that the plan was a lawful order, according to board documents.

Although the board of commissioners recommended Gilles to be terminated, the district’s board of trustees had to confirm the recommended decision. After the board’s decision was announced, some attendees, many of whom were Gilles’ family members, spoke up on his behalf. “The (Carol Stream Fire Protection District) says…pride, duty and tradition are key attributes of the organization,” his sister, Theresa Gilles, said. “Yet today you terminated a member, a leader, of your team, who is ethical, has integrity, shows respect for others, is dedicated to the team, the community, to learning and to teaching.”

Karl Ottosen, an attorney for Kolomay, said Joseph Gilles decided to not follow orders. “As far as the public comment part of this, (Joseph) Gilles made the decision to refuse to follow orders, no one else,” Ottosen said. “And the chief begged him to sit down and talk to him about how to save his career and (Joseph) looked at him and said no.”

thanks Dan

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Landlord gets life in prison for fatal Cicero fire

The Chicago Tribune has this article:

A former landlord was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole for the murders of seven Cicero residents, ages 20 years to 3 days old, who were killed in a 2010 fire the man ordered set to an apartment building he owned.

Cook County Judge Carol Kipperman said she would have sentenced Lawrence Myers to death if Illinois law still allowed such a sentence. “Everything on this trial was horrendous,” Kipperman said at the courthouse in Maywood. “His motivations were for money. This (trial) left me speechless.”

Myers, who was convicted by a jury in November, showed no emotion when the sentence was announced.

The fatal fire took place on Valentine’s Day 2010. According to prosecutors, Myers, 64, wanted to burn down his building in the 3000 block of South 48th Court to collect on a $250,000 insurance policy and move to West Virginia. Deep in debt, he hired his maintenance man, Marion “Andre” Comier, 51, who is still awaiting trial on murder charges, to set the fire, prosecutors said.

thanks Dan

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Four firefighters injured during 2nd alarm fire in Riverdale, 12-16-14

This from Brad Steinweg:

Here are the photos I got from Riverdale’s 2 alarm on 12/16/14. Traffic was terrible so I didn’t get there until after the 2nd alarm was called. I arrived shortly after a mayday was called, all firefighters were accounted for. I didn’t have my camera on me and had to use my phone, so I apologize for the quality.
Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

Brad Steinweg photo

From the Chicago Tribune:

Four firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries while battling an extra-alarm blaze at a condominium building Tuesday in Riverdale, officials said.

About 100 firefighters from departments [throughout] the south suburbs responded to the fire in a three-story building within the Riverwood Condominiums at 137th Street and Stewart Avenue.

The injured firefighters; two are with Riverdale, one is a Calumet Park firefighter and the fourth is with Markham.

… there was a “mayday” call … by a firefighter who ran out of air on the third floor.

thanks Dan

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Chicago Working Fire, 12-13-14

This from Drew Gresik:

Caught a small fire @ 4718 W Monroe in the 13th Battalion on 12/13/14. Companies made a quick knock, they encountered rubbish on the first floor and 3 separate rubbish fires on the second floor in this vacant structure. OFI was requested immediately since the fires were suspicious in nature. Engine 113 hit a hydrant and dropped two lines while Truck 26 opened the roof. The squad and van were held en route.
Drew Gresik
Chicago FD Truck 26

Drew Gresik photo

smoke from two-flat building fire

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Engine 113

Drew Gresik photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14

Drew Gresik photo

Check out our site for more photos! http://chi-townfirephotos.smugmug.com

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Still Alarm in Chicago, 12-2-14

This from Steve Redick:

Back on the 2nd, in the 7300 block of Ibsen on the far northwest side. This was one in a string of workers in a normally very quiet area. Reported as going through the roof when I left the house, but it was pretty much done when I arrived. Basically a 1 line fire but they did wind up with 3 engines. All 3 dropped hose but only 110 actually charged the line.
Interesting to note that due to all the training, Engine 110 was at a change of quarters at Engine 119 and therefore first due at this job. Truck 55 was very aggressive placing the aerial and did a good job to “thread the needle” between all the trees. Squad 7 still with the Chicago Fire spare squad. All in all seemed like this was a very well handled job.

Steve

firemen with aerial ladder to the roof of a house

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire engine at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

firemen with ladders at house fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire engine at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire engine at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

firemen with aerial ladder to the roof of a house

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire engine at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

firemen with aerial ladder to the roof of a house

Steve Redick photo

firemen with aerial ladder to the roof of a house

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire engine at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

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Working fire in Park Ridge, 12-13-14

This from Steve Redick:

Took in this job early Saturday evening. Pretty good smoke condition as I was coming down the street, but it was over by the time I got in position. I believe this was an attic fire, and was knocked down with a big line from the outside. Two additional crosslays were used as well. Interesting to see the truck (a quint) operating as an engine, supplying all the lines. I am guessing they must have been first in, or maybe they were down an engine for some reason. I have always liked shots of this type of operation. Not really much to see from where I was but it sounds like this was a pretty good stop.

Steve

E-ONE tower ladder working at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

smoke from house fire

Steve Redick photo

smoke from house fire

Steve Redick photo

smoke from house fire

Steve Redick photo

smoke from house fire

Steve Redick photo

E-ONE tower ladder working at fire scene

Steve Redick photo

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3-11 alarm fire and EMS Plan I at Resurrection Hospital, 12-11-14

This from Steve Redick:

The string of 11th battalion workers continues.  This one was at Resurrection Hospital, a major hospital complex about a block from my house. Came in as a “cold box” and companies reported a fire in the chapel area on the 2nd floor. The alarm eventually rose to a 3-11 and EMS plan 1 with a special call for the MVU from O’Hare Field. This brought the brand new Engine 9 as well.
Not much to see from the outside but it sounded like they had quite a bit of hidden fire that was difficult to expose, as well as difficulties ventilating the fire area. It also sounded like they relocated numerous patients within the building. A moderate amount of light smoke was visible at the roofline for a bit. A very unusual incident to say the least, and I’m sure there were issues and concerns that I could not see from the outside.

Steve

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire trucks at night

Steve Redick photo

smoke from Catholic hospital at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire trucks at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago FD ambulances at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago fire truck at night

Steve Redick photo

Chicago FD mobile communications van

Steve Redick photo

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