As with most big cities, there are some companies that are busier and some that are slower than others. Of course this is the same situation here in Chicago and back in March, 2007, I was able to catch two of the harder companies to photograph working at the same fire. This was also one of those rare times that I caught a fire without hearing the call dispatched.
I happened to be coming down Pulaski when Engine 64 pulled out of their quarters a few blocks north of 79th street. I followed them as they turned east on 79th and arrived right behind them on the 7800 block of South Trumbull. Engine 15 had arrived just ahead of 64 and a column of smoke was wafting from a dormer window on the roof of a 1.5-story occupied frame home.
This is another one of those cases where there would have been nothing to see if I had not been right in the neighborhood. As a result of getting there so quick, I was able to catch some interesting shots in the few short minutes before they had this knocked out. I have caught both of these engine companies working since but have not caught them working at the same fire. An hour after leaving this incident I caught Engine 93 leading out on a fire at 106th and Sangamon.
Companies on Chicago’s West Side were dispatched to this one-room fire in the afternoon of February 5, 2008. The company using the spare rig is Engine 95 who hit this with their deck gun as it was already venting itself from the second floor window. If I had not been a few blocks away, there would not have been much to photograph because companies had this knocked out in about 5 minutes. The incident was on the 2900 block of West Madison.