This from Steve Redick:

This one is a real classic and there is a good story to go with it.
The fire was in January 1981, it was at the Pavilion Apartments, 5431 N East River Rd. I was on the job less than a year at the time and I lived in the building, 2 floors above the fire. I was still big into fire fanning back then and was riding Schaumburg Truck 1 that day. Around dinner time, one of the members asked me “say don’t you live in that big hi-rise joint on river rd? The city has a 2-11 going on, 5431 I think.” Now I have spent many days and nights in various firehouses over the years and I know how the “fan” is fair game for all kinds of jokes so I smiled and said ‘yeah right’… whereupon the member said “hey I’m not kidding, its a bad fire in your building”, and I said something to the effect of ‘ya think I was born yesterday??!!!!’ He said ok suit yourself and I thought nothing more about it.
We were all sitting around the table eating and watching the news … guess what I saw on TV … fire blowing out 2 floors below my unit and impinging on my balcony!!! Holy Crap!!!! I just about choked on my pork chop. The previously mentioned member said something to the effect of “I told ya so you stubborn german *&%*&$!!!!”¬† A lesson learned. When I returned home the next morning (you didn’t expect me to give up a night at the firehouse did ya?) my poor cat was shell shocked and my whole apartment was covered in soot. I saw some boot prints on my door from the search team too. The end result was a good cleanup and all was well.

A few comments about the voices you will hear on the tape. The fire alarm guy for most of the fire was Al Andersen. He and I came on the job together, and he has long since retired. You also hear the gravely voice of Dick Hyland, an old boss and senior operator at the time … now long deceased. You can also briefly hear Phil McMahon, assistant chief, also long deceased. The voice of future fire commissioner Louis Galante can be heard giving orders as 2112. Louis recently died as well.

This fire occurred under the regime of William Blair, the much disliked “transplant” from LA. He was involved in an accident enroute to the alarm as you will hear , and I don’t believe he and his driver ever made it to the alarm.

This was a real nice memory to find, but it makes me realize I’m getting toooo old for all this modern FD stuff now.

Steve