Media articles covering the 5-11 Alarm fire with 2 Specials at 3757 S. Ashland Avenue on January 22nd.
The first from Fox32 talking about Turret Wagon 6-7-1 “Little Mo”:
The massive warehouse fire in Bridgeport started up again Thursday, prompting firefighters to break out a piece of equipment that hasn’t been on the streets in decades.
The Chicago Fire Department’s deluge units are the stuff of legend, featured in classic videos. They’re mostly out of service nowadays, except for one: Little Mo.
“It is the last of the big pieces of apparatus we have left, there used to be Big John, there used to be Big Mo, and now we have Little Mo,” CFD Commander Dan Swift explains.
Firefighters decided to break out Little Mo Thursday morning, after the massive Bridgeport warehouse fire started to burn again.
Little Mo is an old mac truck from the late 1960s, equipped with two turret water guns and room for up to ten hoses. It pumps up to 5,000 gallons of water a minute, compared to just 1,500 gallons a minute from an engine truck.
“It’s one of a kind,” Swift says of Little Mo. ” It’s the last one around, but obviously it’s still useful, we can bring it out here today and still make good use of it.”
So far, firefighters have poured more than a million gallons of water on that smoldering warehouse. That’s enough to fill a pool as big as a football field ten feet deep.
The entire article with video is HERE.
The Chicago Tribune has an article touching on the fire’s origin:
Investigators today determined the blaze that gutted a nearly 100-year-old Bridgeport warehouse began when someone started a fire — but while police are investigating, the determination does not mean the fire was an arson.
The Office of Fire Investigations conclusion came as crews began demolishing the warehouse at 3757 S. Ashland Ave., gutted by the largest fire to hit the city in seven years.
“The Office of Fire Investigation has determined the cause of the 5-11 Fire on Ashland to be open flame ignition of available combustibles,’’ said Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
“In layman’s terms, that means something that was burning such as a flame or match got near something that would burn,’’ Langford said.
Langford said the building had no gas or electric service and no one was known to be living there. But the night of the blaze, Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago told reporters that in the past, firefighters had been called to the warehouse for small fires caused when squatters lit fires to stay warm.
Tuesday night, a Fire Department battalion chief spotted smoke from the blaze as he drove past around 9 p.m. A third of the department’s on-duty personnel were called to fight the fire, fed by century-old support timbers. Crews have remained there since, dousing flames from the smouldering debris.
Records show the owner of the building is 3737 Ashland LLC, which is controlled by North Development. North Development’s president, Calvin Boender, is in federal prison for bribing former 29th Ward Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers.
City officials had sued the owners of the warehouse in 2011 for leaving the vacant building open and dangerous, seeking to demolish it. But the owners registered it as a vacant building and corrected code violations.
The complete Chicago Tribune article is HERE.