Posts Tagged Chicagoareafire.com/blog

New pumper tanker for Sycamore FPD (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Sycamore FD Rosenbauer pumper tender update

fire truck body mounted onto chassis

Rosenbauer photo

Rosenbauer Commander pumper/tanker being built for the Sycamore FPD in Illinois

Rosenbauer photo

fire truck body mounted onto chassis

Rosenbauer photo

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New tower ladder for Chicago at O’Hare Airport (more)

From the Fire Service, Inc. Facebook page:

Representatives from E-ONE and Fire Service Inc. were on hand at O’Hare International Airport to help provide in-service training to the Chicago Fire Department as they work with their recently delivered new Tower Ladder 63. This 100’ rear-mount platform boasts Federal Signal LED lighting, a 5” stainless steel aerial waterway, 5” front suction, severe duty interior, and painted ROM rollup doors. In addition to it’s full ladder complement, this custom apparatus boasts many unique storage features that will serve the CFD and Chicago’s international airport for many years.

E-ONE Cyclone HP100 rear-mount platform aerial

Fire Service, Inc. photo

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Evanston Fire Department History – Part 21

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department

The Changing Face of Evanston

The geographical face of Evanston changed significantly in the years 1907-12. The North Shore Channel sanitary canal was constructed during those years, and the Evanston City Council mandated elevation for most of the railroad tracks located within the Evanston city limits.

Built by the Sanitary District of Chicago, the purpose of the North Shore Channel was to connect Lake Michigan at Wilmette Harbor to the north branch of the Chicago River at approximately Foster & Sacramento. By using water-flow from Lake Michigan, sewage could be flushed south from Wilmette and Evanston to a sewage reduction plant located at Howard Street. This meant that raw sewage would no longer be dumped into Lake Michigan off-shore of Evanston and Wilmette, thus helping to prevent typhoid fever and cholera outbreaks that had plagued the two North Shore suburbs from time-to-time over the years.    

Meanwhile, the two railroads operating in Evanston at the time – the Chicago and North Western (C&NWRR) and the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul (CM&StP, or simply “The Milwaukee Road”) — were required to elevate their main-line tracks and build viaducts at certain locations from Howard Street to the Wilmette border. 

The C&NWRR freight tracks – known as the Mayfair Division — did not require elevation south of Church Street, because those tracks were used to switch freight cars at manufacturing plants and warehouses located in west and southwest Evanston. Also, the Milwaukee Road tracks — which are now the CTA tracks — were only elevated as far north as Church Street at that time, after the CM&StPRR agreed not to run its trains north of downtown Evanston.    

At 1 AM on Friday, April 26, 1912, the EFD responded to a report of a structure fire at Church & Dodge, and by the time companies arrived, they found multiple residences ablaze. The fire began in an unfinished residence belonging to Renaldo Roberti at 1819 Church Street, before communicating to the William Marion residence to the east at 1817 Church St. Marion’s daughter Pearl jumped from a second floor window into the arms of neighbor Emil Pavel, who had just carried his wife and daughter to safety from their residence at 1715 Dodge Ave. Evanston firefighters saved the Pavel residence, but flames claimed the Frank Kuzik residence at 1717 Dodge Avenue, the Lewis Titus residence at 1809 Church Street, and the Ludwig Veiter residence at 1807 Church Street, in addition to the Roberti and Marion residences.

High winds hampered firefighters battling the conflagration, but they did manage to prevent the flames from extending any further north and east, and were able to extinguish the blaze without any injuries to civilians or to firemen. This was the first time all three EFD engines —the Robinson motor engine, the American-LaFrance Metropolitan steamer, and the Ahrens Metropolitan steamer – were pumping at the same fire. The total aggregate damage to the residences was $11,250.

The Ebenezer A. M. E. church was firebombed in 1903 and two houses and a barn were destroyed by a blaze in the so-called “Italian settlement” at Dewey & Payne in 1911, but the 1912 multi-structure conflagration at Church & Dodge was by far the worst fire to date in the 5th ward. The 5th ward was home mainly to immigrants and African Americans at that time, and it was the poorest and most politically isolated ward in the city, without a significant business district, with no high-value residential properties, no university, and no border with the City of Chicago to give its aldermen the power to make common cause with aldermen from the other wards.

Without the leverage of the other six wards, the 5th was pretty much on its own when fighting political battles within the city council, and so when EFD Chief Carl Harrison recommended in 1912 that a fourth fire station be built at Emerson & Ashland – the bull’s eye center of the 5th ward at that time —  there was no appetite for it in the city council, beyond that of the two 5th ward aldermen.      

About a month later, on May 29, 1912, the entire Evanston Fire Department along with Chicago F. D. engine companies 70 and 112 battled an early-morning blaze at the Bogart Building at 1306 Sherman Ave. Firefighting efforts continued until well into the afternoon, as Evanston and Chicago firemen worked to extinguish the stubborn blaze. The Workers Cooperative Grocery store and the North Shore Creamery located on the first floor as well as apartments located on the second and third floors were gutted. The $16,700 in total damage made it one of the ten worst fires in terms of property loss in Evanston’s history up until that point in time.   

During the Summer of 1913, a mechanical resuscitator known as the “Lung Motor” was placed into service at Fire Station # 1, and it was an instant success. The invention had been demonstrated at Evanston Hospital the previous October, and the Lung Motor was so successful that the Evanston Fire Department received a $25 award from the Life Saving Devices Company of Chicago as the “Top Life Savers in the Nation” at the end of 1913!

The EFD also responded to a number of mutual-aid requests for the Lung Motor received from other North Shore suburbs, and even occasionally responded with the Lung Motor to the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

While the Lung Motor was initially placed aboard the speedy Robinson auto-truck at Station # 1, inhalator runs were taking the motor engine out of service too much. So when an automobile police ambulance replaced the horse-drawn police ambulance in the bay located east of Fire Station # 1 in May 1916, a new joint police-fire policy began at that time which directed a fireman from Station # 1 to be detailed to ride with two police station officers in the police ambulance when responding to Lung Motor (inhalator) calls, thus keeping the motor engine available to respond to fires. 

The first automobile Evanston police ambulance was built by William Erby & Sons on a White Motor Company chassis, and it was in service for eleven years before being demolished in a collision with a bus in September 1927. At that point, the inhalator was moved back to EFD Engine Co. 1. Then beginning in 1952, the inhalator was placed aboard the EFD’s new rescue truck (Squad 21), and inhalators were assigned to all five engine companies beginning in 1959. 

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2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 4-24-21 (more)

This from Eric Haak:

Fire ripped through three homes, two of them occupied, early Saturday morning in Chicago’s Fuller Park neighborhood. The back porches of the primary fire building were fully involved on arrival and had already spread to both exposures. The alarm was raised to a 2-11 before being brought under control. 

massive smoke from house fire at night

Eric Haak photo

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3-Alarm fire in Long Grove, 4-22-21 (more)

More from the 3-Alarm fire in Long Grove, 4-22-21

 

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3-Alarm fire in Long Grove, 4-22-21 (more)

More photos from the 3-Alarm fire in Long Grove, 4-22-21

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3-Alarm fire in Long Grove, 4-22-21 (more)

Just before 2:00PM on Thursday, (4/22/21) fire companies from Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Lake Zurich, Prospect Heights, Mundelein, the Countryside FPD, the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD, Barrington, and Elk Grove Township were dispatched for a house fire at 3159 Cuba Road in Long Grove. Initial reports were of fire on the roof that the resident was attempting to extinguish. The 6,000 square foot home with a cedar shake roof is located roughly 1,000 feet from the road with a winding driveway and wooden bridge for access.

A dispatcher notified responding units that the homeowner had reportedly reentered the home, but was outside again when the first units arrived. Long Grove units saw fire from the attic in front of the house and from the rear as well upon conducting an initial size up. The alarm was upgraded to a working fire bringing more resources including several additional tankers.

An interior attack was made and found heavy fire inside the home before firefighters were forced to retreat and change to defensive operations. Long Grove Tanker 55 with 3,000 gallons of water and Squad 55 with 730 gallons were both in the driveway followed shortly thereafter by Lake Zurich Engine 324 with another 750 gallons after they dropped 750′ of 5″ hose up the driveway on their way in. The alarm was upgraded to a MABAS Box Alarm which later was upgraded to a 2nd and then a 3rd Alarm.

A deck gun was used to attack the fire until the initial 4800-gallon combined water supply was depleted while additional companies initiated a water supply from the street. Tankers shuttled water from two fill sites, one east and the other from the west.

At one point ammunition inside was heard exploding. Embers from the fire spread to the east starting several small brush fires. The wind-driven fire spread quickly and totally consumed the house which was completely destroyed. 

 

fire destroys massive 6000 square foot home in Long Grove

Larry Shapiro photo

An incomplete list of agencies at the scene includes:

  • Long Grove FPD – battalion chief, chief, squad, tanker
  • Buffalo Grove – chief, battalion chief, tower ladder, ambulance, MobileComm
  • Prospect Heights – chief, tanker
  • Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD – battalion chief, squad
  • Deerfield-Riverwoods FPD – squad
  • Palatine – squad
  • Barrington – chief
  • Barrington Countryside FPD – battalion chief
  • Elk Grove Village – ambulance
  • Mundelein – ambulance
  • Wheeling – chief, ambulance
  • Lake Zurich – engine, chief
  • Mount Prospect – engine
  • Highland Park – engine
  • Gurnee – engine
  • Lake Forest – engine
  • Palatine Rural FPD – tanker
  • Countryside FPD – tanker
  • Grayslake FPD – tanker
  • Elk Grove Township FPD – tanker
  • Round Lake FPD – tanker
  • Cary FPD – tanker
  • Lake Villa FPD – tanker
  • Nunda Rural FPD – tanker
  • Fox River Grove FPD – tanker
  • Wauconda FPD – tanker
  • Northbrook – tower ladder

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New tanker for Northwest Homer Fire Protection District (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Northwest Homer FPD final inspection on their Freightliner 114SD Rosenbauer 750-GPM 3000-gallon tender

Freightliner 114SD Rosenbauer 750-GPM 3000-gallon tender

Rosenbauer photo

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Chicago Fire Department news

From CFD Media on Twitter:

Acting Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt joined Engine Co. 127, other CFD members, and the Singleton family in ringing the bell to honor fallen Firefighter/EMT Edward Singleton. One year ago on April 14th, COVID-19 took Edward from us but he will never be forgotten.

Thank you Edward Singleton for your service and dedication. Rest in peace.

Thank you Edward Singleton for your service and dedication. Rest in peace.

CFD Media photo

Thank you Edward Singleton for your service and dedication. Rest in peace.

CFD Media photo

Thank you Edward Singleton for your service and dedication. Rest in peace.

CFD Media photo

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Evanston Fire Department History – Part 19

From Phil Stenholm:

Another installment about History of Evanston Fire Department

The Importance of Being Earnest 

Even though the $10,000 auto-truck fire engine bond issue was approved by Evanston voters in April 1910, the Evanston City Council took more than a year to purchase the truck. Aldermen wanted a so-called “triple-combination pumper” with a pump, hose supply, and soda-acid fire suppression equipment all in one vehicle, so as to eliminate as many horses as possible.

The only bid received was from the Robinson Fire Apparatus Manufacturing Company, which was one of the major manufacturers of automobile fire apparatus at the time. While Robinson combination pumpers were already in service in places like Long Beach, CA, Wichita Falls, TX, Billings, MT, and Ashtabula, OH, there was some concern within the city council that Robinson might not be able to meet the required specifications, since the company had never built a triple-combination pumper before.      
 
EFD Chief Carl Harrison and the three members of the city council’s fire committee visited the Robinson factory in St. Louis during February of 1911. The visit was apparently a positive one, because on May 16, 1911, the city council signed a contract with Robinson, agreeing to pay the Missouri company $9,000 for a triple-combination automobile pumper equipped with a 2nd size triple-cylinder piston-pump, a 50-gallon soda-acid chemical tank with a red-line (chemical) hose reel, and two 25-foot extension ladders. The EFD would provide the hose load and minor equipment like fire extinguishers, nozzles, hose clamps, etc. 

Known as the “Jumbo” — Robinson’s other impressive-sounding models included the “Invincible,” the “Whale,” the “Monarch,” the “Vulcan,” and the “Master,” — the apparatus was powered by a six-cylinder, 110-horsepower Buffalo marine engine, and featured a front-end hand-cranked starter, a right-side steering wheel, solid rubber tires, rear-wheel chain-drive, two-wheel mechanical brakes, and a hose bed of polished teak like one might find on a sail boat. Additionally, two ten-foot sections of hard-suction hose were strapped to the sides of the truck, each resting just above the front fenders, behind the headlights. Also, several kerosene lanterns were hung from the outside of the apparatus, and a bell was mounted in front of the steering wheel on top of the cowl. As was common for the time, the truck had no windshield.

The auto-truck was fast, powerful, versatile, cheaper to operate than horses, and designed to be manned by a half-dozen firemen or more, prompting the Evanston Index newspaper to enthusiastically describe it as “an entire fire department in itself!”

The Jumbo built for the City of Evanston, was Robinson’s pride & joy, so much so that it was displayed and demonstrated at the International Association of Fire Engineers Convention in Milwaukee in September 1911. Although the idea of combining a pump, hose supply, and chemical fire suppression system in the same gasoline-powered vehicle probably sounded crazy to most fire chiefs of the day, the Jumbo was said to have impressed many convention visitors. Evanston Mayor Joseph E. Paden and Aldermen John W. Branch, Howard M. Carter, and James R. Smart traveled to Milwaukee on September 20th to meet with Robinson representatives and arrange for delivery of the apparatus.

The fire engine arrived in Evanston during the first week of October 1911, and was road-tested over a three-day period starting on October 3rd. A Robinson engineer named Earnest Erickson drove the five-ton Jumbo up and down the streets of Evanston, reaching a mind-blowing top-speed of 35 MPH. Holding on for dear life, Evanston aldermen Branch, Carter, and Changelon and two engineers from the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU), Dr. F. A. Raymond and Kenneth Lydecker, rode along on the test drive. The road-test was terminated early due to an overheated crankcase bearing, but otherwise it was deemed a smashing success. .

The Robinson Jumbo passed capacity and pressure pump tests supervised by the two engineers from the NBFU at Becker’s Pond — now known as Boltwood Park —  on Monday, October 23, 1911, successfully pumping 750 gallons of water per minute at 110 pounds per square-inch through two 2-1/2” hose-lines fitted with 1-1/4” nozzles. So the pump was officially certified as 750 GPM, rather than the typical 700 GPM of a 2nd size steam fire engine.  

The apparatus was accepted by the Evanston City Council on November 14th, and went into service as Motor Engine No. 1 ten days later. The motor engine’s first alarm was a chimney and roof fire at a residence at 319 Ridge Avenue in the early-morning hours of Saturday, November 25, 1911. The fire was discovered by Chicago FD Engine Co. 102, which had responded to Ridge & Howard for a report of smoke in the area, and the boys from 102 assisted Evanston firefighters in battling the blaze. Six months later, Engine Co. 102 would get the CFD’s first gasoline-powered automobile combination pumper, a 650 GPM Webb. 

Evanston Fire Department membership was expanded from 31 to 34 men at this time, including two newly created civil service positions, that of motor driver and assistant motor driver, which were equivalent in pay to the engineers and assistant engineers assigned to the EFD’s two steam fire engines. Specifically, motor driver was defined as a combination driver, pump operator, and mechanic. The assistant motor driver was defined as a combination driver and pump operator only. 

Only one member of the EFD circa November 1911 — fireman and motorcycle daredevil Arthur McNeil — was able to pass the civil service exam for assistant motor driver. Nobody could pass the exam for motor driver, so the city hired Robinson engineer Earnest Erickson and his trademark duster and derby hat as a temporary civilian motor driver, but only until such time as an Evanston firefighter could pass the civil service test for motor driver. Erickson would end up spending the next six years as the driver of Motor Engine No. 1.

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