Archive for category Fire Department History

Vintage 5-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 3-25-66

This from Eric Haak:

These images come to you from the early morning hours of March 25, 1966. This was a 5-11 +1 special at 3951 South Canal Street. The building was owned at the time by the Siegmund Warner Company which produced some sort of sporting goods. The interesting thing is that the larger building that you see the fire building attched to still exists and has been vacant for a while. The 5th image shows a collapse in progress. The 6th image is taken looking north towards Pershing and both of the buildings in the background still stand. The last photo is looking west towards Normal Avenue. Still time is recorded as 0451. Hope you enjoy!

massive fire in Chicago in 1966 vintage Chicago police cars

March 25, 1966. This was a 5-11 +1 special at 3951 South Canal Street in Chicago. The building was owned at the time by the Siegmund Warner Company. From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

massive fire in Chicago in 1966

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

massive fire in Chicago in 1966 with Snorkel working

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

massive fire in Chicago in 1966 with Snorkel working

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

massive fire in Chicago in 1966 with Snorkel working

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

vintage Chicago FD Snorkels Snorkel Squad 1

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

vintage Chicago FD Snorkels Snorkel Squad 1

From the collection of Eric Haak, photographer unknown

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Bridgeview Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa:

TBT- This was Bridgeview Fire Department’s 1987 KME 1871/Darley 1500/750 E416. Photo taken before switch to white over red. Enjoy and comment.
Mike Summa

ridgeview Fire Department Engine 416

Bridgeview Fire Department 1987 KME 1871/Darley 1500/750 Engine 416.Mike Summa photo

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Donald Stanley Rimgale; August 3, 1940 – November 13, 2017

From beveragefamilyfuneralhome.com:

Donald Stanley Rimgale August 3, 1940 - November 13, 2017Donald S. Rimgale, Sr., 77, originally of Chicago, IL, died Monday, November 13, 2017 peacefully at home in Elmhurst, IL. He was born August 3, 1940, the son of Adam Donald and Stella Pearl (Lis) Rimgale.

Don retired from the Chicago Fire Department after 31 years in November 1996. As an active member of CFD Union Local 2 he served as Business Agent and various other union positions throughout his career. Companies that he served on were Snorkel Squad 2, Flying Squad 3, Squad 4, Squad 5, Engine 88 and the Office of Fire Investigation (OFI). He received numerous commendations throughout his years of service. Don proudly became chief of the Sandwich Fire Department contributing to the community in which he and his family resided for many years. He retired from the Sandwich Fire Department in July 2016 following aggressive cancer treatment.

It was during his years of service as an arson investigator, with the OFI, that his movie career launched. Don was the inspiration behind Robert DeNiro’s character, Inspector Don Rimgale, in the blockbuster film, “Backdraft” (1991). Don made his debut in the film having other small speaking parts, and is credited in the movie’s closing credits. During this time, he became a member of the Screen Actors Guild, obtained an agent and then continued to audition for movie and television parts.

He had roles in “Baby’s Day Out”, “Gladiator”, “Chain Reaction”, “The Fugitive”, “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part Two Mask of Sanity”, and “Under the Bus”. Television appearances were made in the “Untouchables”, “Missing Persons”, “Angel Street”, “Early Edition”, “Legacy of Lies” and “Polish Hill”. Don was a featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight.

Survivors include his wife Sharon (nee Klug) Rimgale of 30 years, sister Barbara of Orlando, FL, brothers Ron (Bernie) of Nashville, TN, Adam, Jr. of Tucson, AZ; his children Becky Mannarelli, Donald “Donn” Rimgale, Jr., Roxanne (Tim) Gardner, Rachel Rimgale, Staff Sergeant Robert Rimgale (retired), Staff Sergeant Timothy (Brittany) Rimgale currently serving in the U.S. military; grandsons Mike Mannarelli, Ryan Rotter, Griffin and Simon Gardner and granddaughter Abigale Rimgale; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Daniel (6), grandson Jonathan (6), and his parents.

A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the Sandwich Fire Department, 310 E. Railroad St., Sandwich, IL at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 25. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. Cards of condolences may be sent to his family in care of Beverage Family Funeral Home, 104 Terry Street, Sandwich, IL. www.beveragefamilyfh.com

thanks Dan

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X-Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol rig for sale

From the SPAAMFAA Facebook page:

1949 Ford F-7 Big Job
$3,500
Chicago, IL

1949 Ford Insurance Patrol wagon. A division of the Chicago Fire Department. Back in the old days the insurance Patrol would rush in with tarps to salvage your property after the fire department dumped copious amounts of water on it.
There are only three of these left in the world this 49 and a meticulously restored 51 and a 56 model. Whether you wanted to restore this or make a Resto rod out of it you would definitely be the only one with one around.
The body has seen better days and the doors are made out of wood with steel wrapped around them. The back door is still well hung but the front doors are rotten where they used to mount to the piano hinges and they are just wedged in place for the photographs.
Under the hood is the big 337 Ford flathead V8 which was only used in these big trucks and the Lincoln automobiles. This motor was free 10 years ago but someone left a spark plug out and it is currently stuck. The asking price for this one-of-a-kind vehicle is $3,500 complete or $2,500 without the motor and trans. The vehicle is currently located in Alsip illinois.

thanks Dennis & Dan

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Former Chicago firehouse for sale

Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale. Chicago Tribune photo

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribume.com:

2414 W. Cuyler Ave. in Chicago: $1,049,000

Listed on Nov. 3, 2017

One-of-a-kind gut-renovated 3,600-square-feet of a 1899 Chicago Firehouse in North Center by Lincoln Square and in the popular Coonley School District. This historical landmark is the only frame firehouse remaining in the city. Soaring 12-foot ceilings, wood beams, open first floor-floor plan, radiant-heated concrete floors on first floor and wood floors on second. Second floor has master suite with bay window, two bedrooms, an office/exercise room and a den. Oversized, attached two-car garage.

Agent: Sharon Gillman and Marissa Schaefer of Baird & Warner, 312-640-7010

interior of Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Chicago Tribune photo

interior of Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Chicago Tribune photo

interior of Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Chicago Tribune photo

interior of Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Chicago Tribune photo

interior of Rehabbed former Chicago fire house for sale

Chicago Tribune photo

 

thanks Dennis

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Vintage extra alarm fire in Chicago

This from Steve Redick:

April 1961 issue of The ADT Transmitter magazine had this CFD classic image on the cover. Overall in decent shape but I did a bit of restoration. The original Snorkel is on the left. Anyone recognize the fire?

original Snorkel at work in Chicago

April 1961 issue of the ADT Transmitter

From Steve Redick 11/10/17:

5-11 + 1 special, 162 N. Clinton, 12/26/1960

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PHFD Mourns Loss of Former Deputy Chief Ron Olsen

From the Prospect Heights Fire District website:

Ron Olsen, a former PHFD deputy chief and father of our Battalion Chief Scott Olsen, died Wednesday, November 8.

Ron served the PHFD beginning in 1962. He retired as deputy chief in 1988. For a number of years after that Ron served as a part-time fire inspector retiring for a second time in 2015.

Ron Olsen, former Prospect Heights Fire District Deputy Chief

Ron Olsen, served as a Prospect Heights Fire District fire inspector after his retirement. Prospect Heights Fire District photo

When the first addition to the original fire station occurred in the early 1970s, Ron played a key role in the masonry work and other details. In the 2000s Ron helped with two significant masonry repairs to walls in the fire station saving the PHFD time and money.

Ron’s service to the PHFD and the citizens of Prospect Heights was truly invaluable and cherished. He will be missed.

Ronald J. Olsen, 79 of Grayslake, formerly of Prospect Heights was born October 24, 1938 in Chicago to Harry and Bertha (nee Torkilsen) Olsen and passed away November 7, 2017. Ron was retired Deputy Chief of the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District, 50 year member of D.C Crieger Masonic Lodge #81 AF & AM and Past Patron of the Arlington Heights Chapter of the Eastern Star. Ron was the beloved husband of Lorraine L. (nee Weiss) Olsen; loving father of Kimberly (Richard, Lt. MPFD) Christensen, Scott, Battalion Chief Prospect Heights Fire District (Georgette) Olsen and Brigette (Daniel Schley) Miksch; cherished grandfather of Emily (Tony) Thompson, Brent Fergus, Jenna Christensen, Jacob Christensen, Nicole Olsen, Megan Olsen, Steven Miksch, Victoria Miksch and Breeanna Schley; dear brother of Robert Olsen, Richard (Ruth) Olsen, Kenneth (Debbie) Olsen, Jerry (Danila) Olsen and Laura Olsen and fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Friday, November 10, 2017 from 3-9 PM at Lauterburg & Oehler Funeral Home, 2000 E. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights where funeral services will be held Saturday, November 11 at 10:30 AM. Interment Memory Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated

early CPR demonstration by PHFD Deputy Chief Ron Olsen

Prospect Heights Fire District history

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Vintage Chicago 5-11 Alarm fire, 4-26-62

This from Eric Haak:

Here are a few images from Thursday, April 26, 1962. The fire was a 5-11 +1 special at 2710 S. Throop St. The building was owned by the National Plywood Company and sat on the eventual path of the Stevenson Expressway. During the early 1960’s, there were several large arson fires in buildings that were scheduled to be demolished to make way for the Dan Ryan and Stevenson. I don’t know if this was the result of arson but the expressway would be built very soon after. Also, it is interesting to note that this was literally a block south of Engine 28’s current house which would be constructed a year or so later. Still time is recorded as being 1:36 in the afternoon.

Vintage 5-11 Alarm fire in Chicago 4/26/62

Eric Haak collection, photographer unknown

Vintage 5-11 Alarm fire in Chicago 4/26/62

Eric Haak collection, photographer unknown

Vintage 5-11 Alarm fire in Chicago 4/26/62

Eric Haak collection, photographer unknown

Vintage 5-11 Alarm fire in Chicago 4/26/62

Eric Haak collection, photographer unknown

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Evergreen Park Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa:

TBT-Evergreen Fire Dept. Truck 44, a Pirsch custom cab 100′ in chrome yellow.  Enjoy.
Mike Summa
Evergreen Park FD Truck 44

Mike Summa photo

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Gary Fire Department history

This from Wayne Stuart:

The Gary Fire Department operated this 1942 American La France JOX series aerial ladder. It had a 100′ ladder and a 150-gallon booster tank with serial #L-1866. It was assigned originally to Truck Company 2, later on it was assigned to Truck Company 8, and finally to Truck Company 5. It was disposed of in the early 70’s to a sign contractor.

from the collection of wayne stuart

1942 American La France JOX series aerial ladder

1942 American La France JOX series aerial ladder. Wayne Stuart collection

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