Mark Twain Hotel fire in Chicago

All posts tagged Mark Twain Hotel fire in Chicago

This image is from January 1986 … a dark day in the CFD. This was the Mark Twain Hotel, 111 W Division, and Lt Edmund Coglianese of 98 was killed here. The fire ocurred on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Bears played New England. The real scope of this tragedy was overshadowed by the super bowl victory … a terrible situation made so much worse by the hooplah of the victory. This was a dumpy SRO with tiny cubicle-like rooms. I believe the the Lt either had a mask malfunction and or ran out of air. They had an aweful time getting him out of the building.

I can only imagine how bad conditions were in this case … maze-like interior, zero visibility, severe fire conditions, difficult searches, and a tough time getting a line down what must have been a long nasty hallway. I had recently met Edmund when he brought his son’s Boyscout troop up to the office for a tour. A nice man who left behind a wonderful family. I will never forget the fact that he was the one who answered me on the amplifier when I gave him what turned out to be his last run … this still stays with me 30 years later. I can only imagine the pain his family must still feel every day.

Steve Redick

 tragic fire scene photo from Chicago