Archive for August 13th, 2023

Chicago Fire Department news

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A Chicago firefighter who was seriously injured in a house fire Friday near O’Hare Airport continues to recover at a hospital.

One firefighter was transported to a hospital in critical condition and two others were in fair condition. Two of the firefighters were in the basement of the home, including the most seriously injured, but it was not clear if they went down there or fell through the floor. The more seriously injured firefighter was transferred to Loyola Medical Center for further treatment where he is listed in serious condition. CFD has not identified him by name, but said he’s been with the department since the 1990s.

The fire was in a home in the 8300 block of West Balmoral near the airport.

Everyone in the home did make it out safely, officials said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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Silvis Fire Department news

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Silvis firefighters are taking on a new project: restoring an 84-year-old fire engine to its former glory.

The city purchased the American LaFrance engine in 1939 and it was used as a frontline fire engine until 1964. Faded paint on the side shows it was engine #2. 

“It was traded in and it kind of disappeared,” Silvis Fire Chief John Winters said. “We suspect that it was sold to a farmer who then used it for either watering crops or providing water for his animals. It was found in the barn years later.”

They first learned about the old engine a few years ago after being contacted by a man who had purchased the old truck and planned to restore it. The man was gathering information about the history of the engine and noticed a plaque on the side with the names of the 1939 Silvis mayor, fire chief, and aldermen. A few months ago, the man ended up selling the engine back to the Silvis Fire Department.

The fire department wants to restore it as close as possible to its original condition.

“We’re gonna have to take it apart, we’re gonna have to sandblast it, we’re going to have to paint it,” Winters said. “We’re going to get together here shortly and check out the mechanical, see whether the motor even turns. If the motor turns, that’s going to be a huge help for us. Then we can just rebuild it and get it operational. If not, we may have to look at doing some different things.”

Most of the work will be done by Silvis firefighters, but they want to hire someone to hand paint the original gold leaf flake paint on the engine.

The department plans to hold fundraisers to raise money for the restoration project. It’s also accepting donations to its “Silvis Fire Department Brotherhood Fire Engine” account at Black Hawk State Bank.

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