Posts Tagged

Patron punches sprinkler at SpyBar has an article about a guy who decided to punch a sprinkler head in a downtown nightclub.

Nobody knows why he decided to knock the sprinkler head off in an area that has a low ceiling, but the resulting waterfall soon left several inches of water inside the SpyBar, a popular night spot on N. Franklin St. in Chicago.  The water also got into the floor DJ equipment causing some major damage with it.

Check out the post HERE and the mug shot.

The Chicago Tribune has an article HERE.

Tags: , , ,

5-Alarm fire in Peru (IL) has been following a story about a huge fire which broke out around midnight at the former Wextclox watch and clock factory complex in Peru (100 miles southwest of Chicago). He reports that

The formidable complex of 44 buildings occupies a 2-block by 4-block area in downtown Peru, located in north-central Illinois.  The fire was still burning out of control at daybreak and some nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution.

The fire department calls the incident a ‘very large fire” and there are units from many other departments in the region on the scene.

The Washington Post National has an article with photos HERE which reports that:

Police Chief Doug Bernabei said at a news conference Sunday that two teenage boys, a 15-year-old from Peru and a 17-year-old from La Salle, were charged with aggravated arson. The older teen, who’s being charged as an adult, appeared in court Sunday and a judge set his bond at $250,000, according to the News Tribune.

LaSalle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne said the two teens entered the building, poured gas from a can they found there onto a boat stored inside, set it on fire and then left, the newspaper reported. Towne said a tip that an anonymous caller gave Peru police led officers to the two suspects.

The fire, which caused propane tanks to explode, prompted a mandatory evacuation of homes near the complex. But Eccles said that by 11 a.m., nearly everyone was allowed to return home. Those who weren’t were being kept out because the smoke from the fire was blowing directly at their homes.

Massive fire in Peru IL

News Tribune Amanda Whitlock Associated Press

Massive fire in Peru IL

Here are recordings from the 5-Alarm fire at the landmark Westclox factory in Peru. The fire was intentionally set by 15 and 17-year old boys who timed it so well that the fire was toned out at 8 seconds after midnight. A LaSalle FF was injured and underwent surgury this morning.

Watch live video from DeKalb Feed on

The 5th Alarm is struck at the beginning of Part 2

Watch live video from DeKalb Feed on


Tags: , , , ,

Patient punches paramedic has an article HERE entitled “Patient Pommels Paramedic …”  where he states that:

A PATIENT WHO WAS BEING TRANSPORTED by a Chicago Fire Department ambulance Monday morning suddenly went nuts and physically attacked the paramedic who was with him in the back.

The ambulance was pulling into the loading area at Holy Cross Hospital when Natour inexplicably began pounding on the paramedic with his fists leaving the paramedic with bruises and swelling to his forehead, and abrasions and swelling to his leg.

Tags: , ,

Chicago Inspector General Attacks Fire Department Again has an article this morning about the Chicago Inspector General commenting on changes he proposes for CFD staffing. Firegeezer writes:

THE CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, INSPECTOR GENERAL Joseph Ferguson has it in his mind that he should be running the fire department, even though his office has no responsibility for it at all. In fact, he doesn’t run any department. According to the Office of Inspector General’s own website, his mission is:

…. to root out corruption, waste, and mismanagement, while promoting effectiveness and efficiency in City government. The IGO is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City, and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. He’s an auditor. That’s it. He doesn’t manage anything (except his own office) and he doesn’t plan anything. He audits.

Well, I.G. Joe is back and telling the City Council that they should reduce staffing levels on fire engines and ladder trucks from five to four.  He told the council that the cash-strapped city could save $57 million annually if they follow his advice.

Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff fired back yesterday (Tuesday) telling the council and everybody else, in no uncertain terms, what would happen if this were done.  The Chicago Tribune reports:

Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said Tuesday that fire-related fatalities would rise if the city reduces the number of firefighters per truck.

Tags: , , , ,

Bad news for Eastman Kodak sent us a link to an article which will cause photographers to pause and reflect on the past. The article states among other things that:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Shares of Eastman Kodak dropped almost 60% Friday, with trading halted several times amid rumors that the camera maker has hired a law firm for advice on a major restructuring or bankruptcy filing.

The Wall Street Journal said Friday that Kodak had hired law firm Jones Day for restructuring. Bloomberg said the company hasn’t officially hired a firm yet, but that bankruptcy is among the options being considered.

Kodak: Death of an American icon?

IPAM said in its letter to Kodak’s board that the company’s “long-term performance is simply unacceptable, and as such it has not earned the right to remain an independent company.” It urged Kodak to find a buyer that “has resources to commercialize the company’s intellectual property more efficiently.”

Kodak has been increasingly relying on licensing for revenue. In July, The company also announced it’s exploring the sale of more than 1,100 patents tied to digital imaging. Analysts say that deal could generate as much as $3 billion.

Find the complete article HERE.

Tags: , ,

New nozzle designed to suppress flashover

This morning, has an exclusive article describing a new nozzle for firefighting that has been designed by Franck Gaviot-Blanc, a fire research scientist in France who specializes in advanced research into fire behavior and extinguishment methodology.

Optimal nozzle for firefighting


 … (it) is designed to suppress “flashover” conditions in a fire building and protect the firefighters inside from the deadly effects of the flashover.  This is done by creating an engineered fog pattern designed to suppress and cool the fire gasses that are waiting for ignition and flashover.

An interview with the inventor and complete description of the nozzle can be found HERE.

Tags: , , , , ,

Local 2 calls out the city inspector general has an editorial HERE entitled Local 2 to I.G. – “Butt Out!” where Firegeezer outlines some history involving CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, INSPECTOR GENERAL Joseph Ferguson and his recent public outcries which go beyond the scope of his office and position. These include offering budget options to the city council which among other things called for a reduction in Chicago Fire Department manning and then recommending specific disciplinary actions for members of the CFD Fire Prevention Bureau apparently caught padding mileage summaries for usage of their own vehicles followed. Then he states that the bureau should be closed and combined with other city inspection services.

Commissioner Hoff advised Fergie that he (Hoff) will be making the decisions on what disciplinary action will be taken and to forget about putting fire inspections in the purview of plumbers and electricians.

The editorial includes a letter to the public which was sent to the media by Tom Ryan, President of the FF union Local 2.

Excerpts include:

Last October, Mr. Ferguson provided an unsolicited Budget Options Report to the City Council in the form of a press release. Included in that report was an “option” for the City to reduce staffing on fire apparatuses from five firefighters to four. His report stated that this option was based on the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation for “a minimum of only four personnel on each fire apparatus.” What Mr. Ferguson omitted from his report was the very next sentence of the NFPA Journal interview from which the recommendation was cited: “For special service vehicles, the standard states the apparatus must be staffed with the appropriate personnel to accomplish the tasks that the company will be expected to perform in a safe manner.” Additionally, the NFPA makes it clear in the same article that the staffing standard “is currently based on a fire in a typical single-family, two-story, 2000-square-foot house without basement or exposures.” The NFPA also states that in areas with “high target hazards” such as large manufacturing districts, skyscapers, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and special needs facilities there should be a minimum of five firefighters, and in some cases, even six. This High Target Hazard designation of course applies to virtually every one of Chicago ’s 50 wards.

This week the Inspector General’s Office leaked details of an internal report recommending the dismissal of Fire Prevention Bureau personnel to the media before a disciplinary review could be conducted by the Fire Commissioner. As such, the Inspector General may have again compromised the integrity of his report. Thankfully, Mayor Emanuel has publicly stated his expectation of the Commissioner to deal with these allegations. The Fire Prevention Bureau provides critical reports and hazard warnings for the buildings first responders are often rushing into. Their work is essential to the safety of rank-and-file firefighters specifically and to the public-at-large, and requires expert training in fire science. The IGO’s recommendation to “fold” this Bureau into the Building Department is a flagrant disregard for public safety. Furthermore, by covertly publicizing this report and recommendation, the Inspector General’s Office has effectively poured gasoline onto a fire. Hopefully these new flames will not jeopardize the abilities of the Fire Prevention Bureau in consistently and continuously executing their obligations to the fire safety of our city.

The entire letter can be found HERE.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Three generations of CFD FFs with the same name


The following note was sent to by Thomas Parquette of Branson, Mo., and is printed here with permission from both.

Hi ‘Geezer’,
I thought you may find this interesting. The picture was taken sometime around 1885 and is of Eng. Co. 11 of the Chicago Fire Department. The paper it ran in 40 years later in 1925  is an unknown fire publication.

The second firefighter from left is George Geis, my great grandfather. He was killed in the line of duty about 1902 in a wall collapse. His father before him, also George Geis, was one of the first CFD firefighters and was killed in the Chicago Fire in the 1870’s.

The man in the photo’s son, also George Geis, my grandfather, was also a firefighter in Chicago and saw the transition from horse to motive power. He was part of the final call of Buck, Beauty & Dan, the last horse drawn fire team in Chicago. ( I also have a photo of that)  He was critically injured in the line of duty when a drunk driver t-boned the hook and ladder upon which he was the tiller driver. He died of those injuries in the early 1930’s and never received a dime in compensation from Chicago, as the union was just forming and the protections were barely starting at that time.

All three of these gentlemen were career firefighters. All of the same name excepting their middle initial. All killed in the line of duty or because of it. All CFD. My uncle, Stephen Geis, went on to become Chief of Downers Grove Illinois in the 1950s and his son, my cousin, is a full timer as well.

I thought you may find it of interest. I must thank the Fire Museum of Chicago for their help with the exhaustive research of the history mentioned. This photo is sourced from their archives. Keep up the great work. Your coverage is terrific and your writing is not only inviting but amusing.

Thomas Parquette
Branson, Missouri


Chicago Fire Department photo from 1885

Tags: , , , , ,

recalls from Pierce, Spartan, Daimler Trucks & Ford has an article which details several recalls that deal with fire service vehicles. Recalls involve Daimler Trucks, Pierce, Spartan Motors, and Ford. Some highlights include:

Spartan is recalling (NHTSA #11V-240) certain 2010 and 2011 Furions, Gladiators and MetroStars. Certain telltales (dash indicator lights) do not illuminate when they are intended to (high beam indicator, turn signal indicators), or they flicker. In addition, the ABS lamp may not illuminate when the system is affected by a fault.

Pierce has two recalls in. One, NHTSA #11V255, is for certain 1999 – 2008 Arrow XT, Dash, Lance and Enforcer chassis and equipped with an electronic accelerator pedal. After repeated use with “excessive force” (ed. note: who, us?), the accelerator pedal arm may bend and cause the pedal to move closer to the floor. If the pedal arm bends far enough, the pedal may contact the cab floor without warning and stick in the full throttle position.

Pierce is also recalling (NHTSA #11V-230) certain 2009 – 2011 Arrow XT and Velocity apparatus. The front axles of these vehicles were built with Michelin 365/70R22.5 XZA tires installed on 12.25 inch wide wheels. These tires require 10.5 inch wide wheels to comply with FMVSS #120.

The full article with more in depth information can be found HERE.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Looking back at another area rig has again posted a Chicago area rig in his section called ‘Looking Back.’ This time, he’s posted an ad for W.S. Darley & Company that was printed in the April issue of Fire Engineering from 1972. In the ad, there’s a traditional Darley delivery photo of a squad from Itasca.

WS Darley ad from Fire Engineering magazine April 1972

Itasca Fire Protection District 1972 Chevy Darley squad

The unit featured in the ad as photographed some years later. Larry Shapiro collection


Itasca Fire Protection District 1972 Chevy Darley squad

The Itasca squad featured in the 1972 Darley ad was re-numbered to Squad 8 and had updated emergency lighting added sometime prior to this photo being taken by Larry Shapiro

Tags: , , , , ,