Archive for January 8th, 2022

Working fire in Homewood, 1-7-22


Here are a few photos from the Full Still at 2855 W. 183rd St. in Homewood, Illinois last night 1/7/2022. The building is a 150-year-old 2 1/2-sty frame,. The first company had heavy fire showing from the attic. 

fire scene photo

fire scene photo

fire scene photo

Tags: , , ,

Box Alarm fire in Lansing, 1-7-22


Here are a few photos from the box alarm in Lansing, Illinois last night 1/7/2022.  The building is the Walmart at 17626 S. Torrence. 

Lansing FD on scene

Lansing FD on scene

Lansing FD on scene

Lansing FD on scene

Tags: , , , ,

Evanston Fire Department history Part 54

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department


The second part of Chief Dorband’s modernization plan was implemented after the second bond issue passed in April 1953, setting the stage for three new fire stations to be constructed at a combined cost of $775,000 during 1954-55. 

In its most-recent inspection of the EFD in 1935, the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU) had recommended that Truck Co. 2 be relocated from Station # 1 to a new Station # 2 in South Evanston that would have space for an aerial-ladder truck, establishment of a third truck company in a new Station # 3 in North Evanston that would have space for an aerial-ladder truck, and the relocation of Engine Co. 5 from Station # 1 to a proposed fifth fire station to be built in the area of Grant & Central Park in northwest Evanston. Chief Dorband followed the NBFU recommendations to the letter when planning the new fire stations.

The new Station # 2 was built as a two-story three-bay “headquarters” station with space for a tractor-drawn aerial-ladder truck and EFD administrative offices, on the southwest corner of Madison & Custer, one block west of the old Station # 2. The former Station # 2 at 750 Chicago Avenue was sold to a private party and converted into an automobile dealership, before becoming a restaurant about twenty years later.

The new one-story three-bay Station # 3, with one bay long enough to eventually house a tractor-drawn aerial-ladder truck, was constructed on a vacant lot owned by the Metropolitan Sanitary District and leased to the City of Evanston on the east-side of the North Shore Channel, a block west of Evanston Hospital and a mile from the Northwestern University campus, at the northeast corner of Central Street and what had been Cooper Avenue pre-canal construction in 1908, about a mile east of the old Station # 3. The former Station # 3 at 2504 Green Bay Road was sold and converted into a photography studio.

However, the construction of Fire Station # 5 would prove to be a bit more complicated.

Chief Dorband’s modernization plan called for Station # 5 to be built on top of what used to be Bennett Avenue, between Perkins Woods and Lincolnwood Elementary School. The portion of Bennett Avenue that ran between Grant and Colfax streets had been closed when Perkins Woods was established as a Cook County Forest Preserve in the 1920’s, but the right-of-way was still owned by the city. Station # 5’s first-due area would include all of northwest Evanston, plus a large chunk of the 5th Ward, including the area north of Church Street and west of the C&NW RR Mayfair Division freight tracks.

Planned as a long and narrow one-story one-bay residential-style firehouse set-back several hundred feet from the street, the single apparatus bay would be located on the south-side of the facility, with driveway access onto Grant Street. The living quarters would feature a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, a bunk-room, a bathroom with a shower, a captain’s office, a large storage room, and a watch-desk with a radio and a telephone, separated into two sections by a long hallway. The parking area and front door would be accessed from the Colfax Street side. The station would carry a street address of 2700 Colfax St.

However, the Lincolnwood School PTA objected to the proposed site, arguing that a fire station located that close to the school would pose a danger to the children if the fire engine was responding to an emergency call while the children were coming to or going home from school. The city council agreed, but Chief Dorband was furious, pointing out that the aldermen had readily approved construction of the new Fire Station # 1 on Lake Street in 1949, even though it was located just a half-block from St. Mary’s School.

With the Perkins Woods site taken off the table, a city playground-park at the northeast corner of Simpson & Bennett (now known as Porter Park) was presented by Chief Dorband as the next-best alternative, especially since the lot was already owned by the city, and was located even closer to the 5th ward than Grant & Bennett. However, citizens living in the area objected to the idea of replacing their park with a fire station. Also, the site was located nearly two miles from some areas within the “High Ridge” neighborhood northwest of Crawford & Gross Point Road.

Getting desperate, the city council next focused on a vacant lot at the northwest corner of Central Park Avenue and the south alley of Central Street that was for sale at a reasonable price, and with a footprint just large enough for a Chicago FD-style, two-story, one-bay firehouse. However, Northminster Presbyterian Church leaders objected to the Central Park Avenue site, because they said having a fire station on their block would potentially disrupt Sunday morning church services, Wednesday evening prayer meetings, and choir practice

With a voter mandate to build a new fire station in northwest Evanston and possessing the funds needed to construct it, but with seemingly no place to put it, the city council reluctantly purchased a lot costing $25,000 in a business district on the south side of Central Street at Reese Avenue. The lot cost more than what the aldermen wanted to spend, but the footprint was large enough for a two-bay firehouse. While the Central Street site was a half-mile further away from the 5th ward than the Perkins Woods site would have been, it was well-suited to provide fire protection to northwest Evanston, all the way up to Crawford & Old Glenview Road.

Tags: , , , , ,