July 8, 2004 |
In a report released Wednesday, the commission investigating October's deadly high-rise blaze criticized the Chicago Fire Department's methods and said sweeping changes were needed to avert similar tragedies in the future. Among other failings, the 94-page report said, the department sent frantic Cook County Administration Building employees to the wrong location, fought the fire from the wrong stairwell and failed to use an available public address system to communicate with potential victims.
April 2, 2004 |
Chicago Fire Commissioner James T. Joyce unexpectedly announced his resignation Thursday after weeks of turmoil and criticism over alleged racist incidents within the department. Stepping into the job is Cortez Trotter, director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Trotter is the city's first African American fire commissioner. Joyce, who held the post for 4 1/2 years and had been with the department for more than 39 years, said he would leave at the end of the month.
March 12, 2004 |
A series of racial slurs broadcast recently over the Chicago Fire Department's radio frequencies have sparked a political debate here, and officials are determined to find out who is behind them. Since Feb. 2, there have been at least six such transmissions, including one Wednesday. Fire department officials said some, but not all, of the slurs were aimed at African Americans. Mayor Richard M.
March 17, 1993 |
At least 15 people died and another 30 were injured Tuesday in an early morning fire that raced up stairways in a hotel for transients that housed about 130 people near this city's downtown. By evening, 15 residents were still unaccounted for, fire authorities said. Neighbors of the yellow-brick Paxton Hotel woke to screams soon after the blaze began about 4 a.m. Dense black smoke cascading through the hotel's halls forced scores of residents to windows for gulps of air.
June 20, 1991 |
Special effects created for director Ron Howard's current movie "Backdraft" may sizzle, but they can't hold a candle to the back draft Paul Ditzel experienced as a Chicago firefighter. "I ran into a horrendous back draft during the great Chicago blizzard of '66," said the 64-year-old Woodland Hills man who is also a fire historian with 14 books to his credit. A back draft occurs when a smoking fire appears to retreat but instead explodes when fed oxygen.
July 19, 1990 |
Firefighters DeNiro and Russell: Robert DeNiro and Kurt Russell are getting a crash course on firefighting and arson investigation from the Chicago Fire Department. Instructors from the department's Fire Academy are giving up to three hours of training each night to the cast of "Backdraft," a movie about a conflict between two brothers, both firefighters, and life in an urban fire department, Fire Chief Stanley Span said.