Posts Tagged Chicagoareafire.com/blog

2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 4-2-21 (more)

More on the 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 4-2-21 from Eric Haak:

Here are some images of the April 2nd, 2-11 Alarm at 53rd and Laflin. This began as rear porches in the 2.5-story frame and quickly spread to the “B” side exposure.

2-11 alarm fire in Chicago

Eric Haak photo

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New engine for Northbrook (more)

From the Pierce Flickr page:

Pierce, Northbrook Fire Department, IL, 35077-1

New Pierce Impel pumper for Northbrook FD Engine 10

Pierce composite

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Stone Park Fire Department news (more)

v

Voting results on the referendum to reinstate the Stone Park Fire Department

Stone Park FD squad for sale

Found at PublicSurplus.com:

Auction #2776105 – 1997 Spartan/RD Murray rescue pumper

Current Price $6,000.00 (Reserve not met yet) Help window
Time Left 14 days 5 hours
High Bidder
sfdmedic911
# of Bids
First Offer $6,000.00
Auction Started Mar 31, 2021 1:54:32 PM MDT
Auction Ends Apr 22, 2021 2:00:00 PM MDT

Note: This auction might extend Help window
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Seller Village of Stone Park

Terms and Cond. [View Terms and Conditions]
Pick-up Location
Village of Stone Park    [Map It]
1825 N 32nd Avenue
Stone Park, IL  60165
VIN:  4S7CT1092VC023762  
Mileage:  31,150  
Running Condition:  Good  
Tires:  Good  
Order a CARFAX Report

1997 Spartan 1500/750 Rescue Pumper, 4 door enclosed raised roof cab with 6 seats, Aluminum cab, Cummins 325 HP diesel engine with Allison automatic transmission, 1500 GPM single stage Hale pump, 3 crosslays above pump panel, right side LDH discharge, 750 gallon POLY booster tank with 10 gallon foam cell.  RD Murray Rescue Body Stainless steel body with full depth compartments on both sides.  Full length topside coffin compartments with flip-up doors.  Extended front bumper with piped front suction intake and pre-connected LDH storage.  Rear discharge in hose bed. Manual pump, working Q siren, on board generator.

1997 Spartan Gladiator /. RD Murray rescue engine for sale

thanks Dennis

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New pumper tanker for Sycamore FPD (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Sycamore FD Rosenbauer pumper tender update

Rosenbauer pumper tender being built for the Sycamore Township FPD

Rosenbauer photo

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New engine for the Ashkum Fire Department (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Ashkum FPD Rosenbauer Warrior pumper update

freshly painted fire engine body by Rosenbauer

Rosenbauer photo

freshly painted fire engine body by Rosenbauer

Rosenbauer photo

freshly painted fire engine body by Rosenbauer

Rosenbauer photo

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Evanston Fire Department History – Part 18

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department

Although he had steadfastly maintained at the time of the fire that a second steam fire engine could not have saved the Villa Celeste, the mounting calls in the two South Evanston wards for the city to allow itself to be annexed by Chicago led EFD Chief Carl Harrison to go before the city council in April 1909 and request that the aldermen immediately appropriate the funds needed to place the reserve steamer into front-line service at Station # 2. 

The city council refused Chief Harrison’s request because the law-makers claimed there was not sufficient money available in the 1909 budget to do it, but the city council’s fire committee did (somewhat surprisingly) express an interest in purchasing a gasoline-powered motor-driven auto-truck fire engine, at a point in time when automobile fire-fighting apparatus was in its infancy.

The fire committee’s master plan was to purchase an automobile fire engine and place it into service with Engine Co. 1 at Station # 1, move the American LaFrance Metropolitan steamer (the existing Engine 1) from Station # 1 to Station # 3 where it would run with the Davenport H&L / hose tender as a two-piece engine company, transfer the two horses used to pull Engine Co. 1’s hose wagon to the older reserve steamer at Station # 2 since with an automobile pumper in service, the horse-drawn hose wagon at Station # 1 would no longer be needed, and place the older steamer into front-line service, where it would run with the Seagrave combination truck as a two-piece engine company. This arrangement would also mean that with an automobile pumper or a steam fire engine in service at all three fire stations, water pressure in the mains would no longer have to be increased to fight a fire except in extraordinary circumstances, thus saving Evanston’s water mains from further damage and likely eventual collapse.

Chief Harrison and the fire committee traveled to Michigan in February 1910 to examine a motor-driven fire engine – a Webb / Oldsmobile combination pumper, so-called because it combined a pump and hose on the same rig —  that had been in service in Lansing for 14 months. Harrison and the committee were apparently impressed by what they saw, because when they returned to Evanston, the members of the fire committee convinced their fellow aldermen to place a $10,000 bond issue on the ballot in the city election of April 1910, asking voters to decide whether or not Evanston should purchase an auto-truck fire engine.

It wasn’t clear if Evanston voters would support the measure, so the local newspapers expended quite a bit of newsprint in the days leading up to the election explaining to voters that acquisition of an auto-truck fire engine for Fire Station # 1 would actually improve fire protection at all three fire stations – meaning the entire city – because placing an auto-truck fire engine in service at Station # 1 would allow steam fire engines to be placed into service at both Station # 2 in South Evanston and Station # 3 in North Evanston.   

It also probably didn’t hurt that on the eve of the election, a large fire destroyed the Original Manufacturing Company plant at 721 Custer Avenue, as well as a residence to the south at 719 Custer and another across the street at 724 Custer. The EFD did otherwise save the neighborhood and were hailed as heroes by the four South Evanston aldermen for doing so, but the $35,000 aggregate damage estimate from the conflagration was one of the highest losses from a fire in Evanston’s history up to that point in time. Whether the timing of the blaze made a difference in the outcome of the election cannot be known for sure, but the bond issue did pass, albeit by a slim margin.    

Talk of annexation died as fire protection in South Evanston was upgraded in 1911. Although the bond issue had passed in April 1910, Chief Harrison and the three members of the city council’s fire committee were not yet satisfied that any automobile fire engine manufacturer could build what Evanston wanted, that being a so-called triple-combination pumper, which would combine a pump, hose, and soda-acid chemical tank in the same vehicle. At that point in time, a handful of automobile combination pumpers (pump & hose only) were in service with various fire departments around the country, but only one automobile triple-combination pumper had been built in America, and that was a one-off rig built by a local auto truck manufacturer for a volunteer fire company in New Jersey. . 

So not willing to wait any longer and risk losing support from the South Evanston aldermen, the Evanston City Council transferred $2,500 from the Water Fund to the fire department in January 1911  — something they had been unwilling to do in 1909 and in 1910 — allowing an engineer to be hired plus two horses and related equipment to be purchased that would allow the reserve steamer to be placed into front-line service at Station # 2, without waiting for the city to purchase the auto-truck fire engine that was authorized by the bond issue.

The acquisition of the two horses in 1911 brought the number of horses in service with the Evanston Fire Department to 19, the most the EFD would ever have. In addition, an assistant engineer and a fireman were transferred from Station # 1 to Station # 2, allowing the Ahrens steamer to (finally) be placed into front-line service at Station # 2. Thus, Truck Co. 2 became Engine Co. 2 on February 15, 1911, with nine men (a captain, a lieutenant, an engineer, an assistant engineer, and five firemen) assigned to Station # 2, operating with both the Ahrens Metropolitan steamer and the Seagrave combination truck (chemical engine, H&L, and hose tender).    

During the five years that it was in reserve at Station # 2, the Ahrens steamer made one run of significance. On Tuesday, September 6, 1910, the Village of Niles Center (later known as Skokie) sent an urgent message to the Evanston Fire Department, requesting assistance in battling a conflagration that threatened to destroy the village.

Chief Harrison detailed a squad of Evanston firemen to respond to Niles Center with the Babcock chemical-engine, a hose wagon, and the reserve steamer pulled by a team from the street department. Drafting water from Blameuser’s Pond, the EFD’s Ahrens steamer supplied water used to extinguish the blaze. Eight structures — two saloons, a barber shop, a furniture store, two barns, and two sheds — were destroyed, but the village was saved.

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2-Alarm fire in Cary, 4-5-21 (more)

Cary FPD Press Release Holly Lynn House Fire.

click to download

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Streamwood Fire Department news (more)

This from Zach Cox:

I took a few pictures of the opening ceremony at the new Streamwood Fire Station 31.

exterior of new fire station

Zachary Cox photo

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Oak Brook Fire Department news (more)

From Associated Firefighters of Oak Brook IAFF Local 4646:

At 7:30 this morning fire department staffing has been reduced by 27% a day. These decisions were made based on the agenda of a few of the current Oak Brook Trustees and certainly not with the safety of the residents and visitors of Oak Brook in mind. As always, we will do everything we can to respond to and handle your emergencies. We just want to make everyone aware that we are no longer able to staff the same amount of ambulances and fire equipment today that we could staff yesterday. With this change you may be waiting a little longer for us to respond to your emergencies. As a matter of fact, it might not even be us responding at all. You might be waiting for an ambulance or fire engine from a completely different town!

Oak Brook Fire Department reduction in staffing

thanks Tim

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Evanston Fire Department History – Part 17

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department

The Villa Celeste
 
The Village of Evanston annexed the Village of South Evanston thereby forming the greater City of Evanston in 1892. The proponents of the annexation argued that if the two villages did not unite and form “a strong city of our own,” that separately they were both almost certain to be annexed by the City of Chicago. This domino theory was soon given further credence, as the Village of Rogers Park — South Evanston’s neighbor to the south — was annexed by Chicago in 1893.    

After Chicago annexed Rogers Park, some of the residents of South Evanston — led by fiery 3rd Ward Alderman Pat O’Neill —  insisted that the brand-new unified City of Evanston should allow itself to be annexed by its larger and more powerful neighbor to the south. The rationale was that a large city such as Chicago could provide significantly better city services — especially police and fire protection — than a smaller city like Evanston could. This was especially important to the wealthier residents of South Evanston, who felt that because they paid a larger share of property taxes, that they should receive better municipal services. And Chicago did, in fact, attempt to annex Evanston in 1894, but Evanston voters declined the offer, and it appeared that the annexation issue was laid to rest. However, the issue was unexpectedly resurrected 15 years later. 

On Thursday, March 11, 1909, at 12:30 PM, the Evanston Fire Department responded to an attic fire at the Villa Celeste, the palatial South Evanston home of P. Leonard (“Guy”) McKinnie, located at 721 Sheridan Road. Directing operations at the scene, Chief Fire Marshal Carl Harrison — as was his usual practice — initially ordered firefighters to attack the fire in the attic with soda-acid from one of the chemical-engines. By using only chemicals, Chief Harrison hoped to minimize water-damage to the rest of the house. But because the fire was entombed within the walls and ceilings, firemen were unable to locate and extinguish the seat of the blaze.

Firefighters soon found themselves utilizing water-flow from some 3,000 feet of hose-line — two 2-1/2” lines from Engine 1, one 2-1/2” line directly from a nearby hydrant, and a line from the chemical apparatus — in a vain effort to suppress the fire in the attic and third floor. With the fire department using 2-1/2” hose-lines, water damage to property located on the lower floors became a problem. All firemen were busily engaged in fire suppression and ventilation efforts, so neighbors enlisted the aid of children from nearby Lincoln School to assist the McKinnies in removing their priceless art collection and valuable antique furniture from the lower floors. 

As minutes turned into hours, it was becoming increasingly obvious to everyone present that firefighters were making absolutely no headway. Frustrated, homeowner McKinnie demanded that Chief Harrison send for the steam fire engine (old “City of Evanston No. 1”) that was kept in reserve at Fire Station # 2 on Chicago Avenue. McKinnie even offered to dispatch a livery-team of his own to Station # 2 to bring the steamer to the scene. Chief Harrison refused, explaining to McKinnie that lack of water was not the problem.

For six hours, the men of the EFD struggled mightily to contain the blaze. However, the flames encroached further into the ceilings and walls, and by nightfall the Villa Celeste was gutted. Six Evanston firefighters suffered injuries while battling the blaze: 

              Chief Carl Harrison – finger severed when cut by glass shards;

              Assistant Chief Jack Sweeting – smoke inhalation;

              Fireman William Hofstetter – hand laceration;

              Fireman Edward Johnson – foot injury;

              Fireman John Wilbern – smoke inhalation;

              Fireman William Wilbern – smoke inhalation / bruised when struck by falling debris.                                       

  As a coup de grace, the stubborn blaze rekindled at about 11:30 PM, five hours after the EFD  had left the scene. Firefighters dutifully returned, and spent another hour pouring water into the ruins.

The final damage estimate was $40,000, the fourth highest damage estimate from a fire in Evanston’s history up to that point in time. The only previous fires with a higher damage estimate had been the tragic Mark Manufacturing Company fire in 1905, the Lincoln Avenue schoolhouse blaze in 1894, and the Willard Block conflagration in 1872.

Chief Harrison would later say “… dozens of engines couldn’t have saved the house… the only way to extinguish the fire would have been to submerge the house into the lake…” (Which Harrison probably would have done if it had been an option!)

The fire was extinguished, but controversy simmered and boiled. Guy McKinnie and other wealthy South Evanston residents asserted that Evanston should once again invite itself to be annexed by Chicago. However, Fire Marshal James Horan, chief of the Chicago Fire Department, threw cold water onto the idea. Chief Horan candidly explained that some outlying areas of Chicago had no fire protection, and that if annexed, Evanston would be mainly ignored until other more-pressing needs were addressed. Horan claimed that major fire protection improvements were needed at the Stock Yards, and that Chicago also needed a high-pressure waterworks in the downtown “high value” district.

And Chief Horan’s analysis of Chicago’s fire protection needs would be proven tragically (and ironically) correct. Horan and 20 other Chicago firemen were killed when a wall collapsed onto them while they were fighting a fire at the Stock Yards on December 22, 1910.

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