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Early video: Chicago firefighters pull up to heavy fire conditions in Lincoln Park.

Pictures from Tim Olk at

The video above was taken as the first lines were stretched for a fire at 525 W. Armitage Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Friday afternoon. Watch the pretty violent flash at :21 into the video (still frame below).

The building was built in 1888 and at one time it housed a funeral home. It was under renovation when the fire occurred.

This eventually became a 2-11 alarm and much of the building collpased. See the WLS-TV video below for the collapse. In addition there are two other clips from YouTube.


Chicago firefighters responded yesterday to a fire at 525 W. Armitage, less than a block from the quarters of Engine 22. Upon arrival, they found heavy fire on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a three-flat that was undergoing renovation. The alarm was escalated to a 2-11 for additional companies. During the course of the fire, the building suffered a catastrophic collapse.


A still-and-box alarm was initially called for the fire at 12:50 p.m, but it was later upgraded to a 2-11 alarm, according to the Fire Department. Firefighters used four master hose lines and four hand lines to fight the blaze.

By 1:55 p.m., the building had collapsed.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Depressed Fireman

    Dang, I hope more footage of this pops up.  I would love to see how this turns out, cuz this mofo is gittin' it!  It looks like one line is stretched to the front and they are stretching a 2 1/2 to the D side.  You definitely need to start out with big water on this one.

  • Don Rimgale

    That's a lot of fire to find on arrival, but what's up with the white shirted guy (chief?) running around like a chicken with his head cut off?

  • Sharppointy1

    It was a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood – and these are some great videos of the fire and collapse. I too hope more show up, I'd like to see more detail of the collapse.  At thre same time I feel badly for the family that has lost their home.

  • AA

    ColdFire would have saved this home, no doubt at all. :)

    • mark

      AA, you owe me a keyboard.
      Finally, a fully involved structure fire.


    Holy Freakin' Master Streams, Batman!!
    or, a PW full of ColdFire.

  • Sally

    Awwwwww, come on….. are you serious? Every department has a white long sleeved chicken with his head cut off guy, don't they? I know we have at least 10 of em, (60 station dept.) Those white long sleeved guys are the ones coming out with the new policies on a weekly basis, trying to justify their desk jobs……. just sayin'.

  • Sally

    OH…….. and by the way……. HOLY BTU'S!!!!! Dispatch, have the next arriving engine lay in with a  5"…… MAKE THAT A 20" SUPPLY LINE!!

  • Paul B

    Nothing better than first due video of a rocking job.

  • Anonymous

    You would think that a Chief in Chicago would have seen a fire before.
    Rule #1.  Get one line in operation before you worry about stretching more.

  • Daz

    At least the Chief got a line off, our chiefs would be making sure they had all the paper work sorted first…..

  • Depressed Fireman

    I'm pretty sure all officers in Chicago wear white shirts.  This was probably the Engine Loo.

  • Mike

    You know they were short staffed, cut them some slack.  Help jack a line then do the white shirt stuff.  It sounds like if you become a white shirt, you forget how to fight fire..remember one day you too may become a white shirt…..Hope your not on the line!!  Just about every department out there would have done the same thing, even the PG boys…

  • Up there doin

    Typical Chicago job, to the ground it went.  Granted it was going good, but Detroit would have saved her. 

  • cg

    FYI.  The first Co. on the scene is Eng 22.  Their house is literally about 75 yards east of the fire building.  The guys you see running around without bunker gear are the Ambulance crew and crew from the HazMat rig out of 22's house.  So thats a super smart HazMat Lt  geek running around at a fire like a chicken with his head cut off.  Oh, and about one other comment, we routinely stretch multiple lines here.  Multiple exposures = multiple lines.

  • Sally

    Detroit?…… Half of the Dept. has a criminal record, yo.

  • FireGears

    While the remarks of Markie, Chaotic-Caveman and AA (“firekiller”) are petty and inane,
    they do present a glimmer of truth and we have video proof.
    We see dozens of firefighters applying 1000’s of gallons plain water
    on a large volume of fire and the building STILL burns to the ground.
    Visual proof of the FACT that plain water is a poor fire extinguishing agent.
    Plenty of water running down the street though.  
    Thankfully, the FF’s are wearing waterproof clothing and footwear.
    BUT, as the "brain-trust" mentioned above indicates, a fire extinguishing agent can be
    added to plain water to GREATLY IMPROVE its ability to QUICKLY and Efficiently
    extinguish Class A, B, D and K  Fires.   .

    Consider the fire loading in all the fires which we (FS) are expected to
    efficiently extinguish.   Explore your world, Markie, Chaotic-C and “firekiller”.. 
    What’s in your home, car, firehouse, church, school, stores, “lumber yard”, etc…
    PLASTIC.!!!    (AND combustable metals, cooking oils, tires, etc…)
    Question 1:  What are plastics made from.????
    (anyone? … anyone?? …  Bueller??…)
    Plain Water is a poor extinguishing agent for Class A materials
    and it’s even less effective on Class B-D-K fires.
    Question 2:  What Class of fire is burning plastic.???
    (Hint for the “brain-trust”  .. not  A or D or K)
    Thus, (like CFR) we need to enhance our fire attack capability by using modern additives which are currently available.  The FS should not only be using them but demanding they become even more effective and less expensive…

    I’m beginning to wonder if the “brain-trust” does not have some sort of financial interest in the continuation of the FS using these ineffective 1950’s fire fighting techniques.


    Yeah, I sell water…but it's very expensive.

  • AA

    "does not have some sort of financial interest in the continuation of the FS using these ineffective 1950’s fire fighting techniques."

    You mean like the arrangement you have with RDR Technologies and the promotion of ColdFire, FireGears? :)

  • FireGears

    That's all ya got, AA ( "firekiller" )..!!!
    You have just proven you are either an idiot by making a statement concerning something of which you have no knowledge nor documentation …
    you're a moronic liar
    PS …
    idiot …
    an utterly foolish or senseless person
    moron … 
    A stupid person w/ mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 

    • CHAOS

      Once again, the individual who constantly claims others' remarks are 'petty and inane' throws some of his own out there.

  • FireGears

    Hey Chaotic-Caveman,
    I realize from your past submissions that “nuance” is not your strong suit.
    Please note that there is a difference between slinging petty and inane remarks
    and retorting to such remarks with candor.
    PS ..
    As the above words were used, Chaotic-C … 
    (don’t want you to have any problems in understanding ..  :-)
    “nuance” ..
    a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response 
    “strong suit”
    A quality, activity, or skill in which a person excels
    To reply in a quick,  witty manner
    being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression w/o prejudice or malice
    ( Oooooops … “w/o”  =  the two words,  “with” “out” )

  • AA

    I love you FireGears. :)  Not sure who "firekiller" is, but it's not me.
    Let's all not forget… ColdFire is brought to you by an "As-Seen-On-TV!" company, so you can trust it's promises without reservation!

    • CHAOS

      I love his pompous arrogance, too. 
      If only he put the same amount of effort into answering the questions asked of him that he puts into talking down to us mere mortals.  What possible reason could he have for not addressing those questions??  What?…oh yeah, maybe that's it.
      How much ColdFire do you have to order to get a free Clapper and Ginsu knife set thrown in for "free"??

  • FireGears

    Brother AA…
    Since the early 1980’s, I in have been involved in testing many additives and I do have my opinions and my favorites.  Just like our “CFR” Brethren, “Wildland” Brethren and “CAFS” Brethren. They test, like and use different specific brands of firefighting additives to greatly enhance the fire extinguishing ability of plain water. .
    (Side note:  Like some other Brothers, you also have been rather slow to recognize that I have not been offering any brand names because I’ve accepted the input given in other posts.)
    It’s time that the FS in general come into at least the 20th century and begin to utilize the new, modern water additive technology available and make some improvements to our current 1850s, plain water, firefighting tactics.  
    Sure, we are seeing improvements for this old, ineffective tradition of throwing plain water on fires … Bigger pumps, higher ladder/towers, large supply hose, bigger attack lines, better waterproof clothing and footwear, etc….
    YET, even after very effectively pouring 1000’s of gallons/minute of plain water on all types of fires, we are still witnessing structures/containers burning to the ground.
    The FS seems to be STUCK ON STUPID.!!!  We are still attempting to use plain water in a world where the fire loading has dramatically changed.!!!  Unlike the 1850‘s or even the 1950‘s, the world around us today is packed full of Class B, Class D and Class K materials.  Fire Extinguishing Additives can be added to plain water to GREATLY IMPROVE plan water’s ability to Quickly and Efficiently extinguish the Class A, B, D and K  Fires which we now find in our everyday world.
    QUESTION:  Did the World of CFR continue to use plain water when the fires they were expected to extinguish begin to change and RESIST the application of plain water.???
    As aircraft began to contain more flammable liquids, plastics, combustable metals
    and fewer Class-A, “ordinary combustible products” did they just continue to add more water as a “new tactic” to combat the fires they were now encountering.???
    ANSWER:  NO.!!  They were wise enough to move away from their traditional plain water tactics and began to utilize fire extinguishing additives.  ADDITIONALLY, they began to demand more effective and less expensive additives.
    AT BEST, Plain Water is a poor extinguishing agent for basic, Class A materials. It’s even less effective on Class B – D – K fires.  Thus, (like our CFR Brethren) we need to enhance our fire attack capability by using the modern additives which are currently available.    The FS should not only be using them on every fire we are called to extinguish but demanding they become even more effective and less expensive…