Slice of Life: Chicago’s Fire Insurance Patrol

The old “Fire Insurance Patrol” sign remains carved into the face of the old Patrol 5 building at 1044 North Orleans Street in Cabrini Green.  Founded in 1871, the Fire Insurance Patrol was the forerunner of the city’s modern Fire Department.  This particular building was incorporated into the city’s regular fire department, and from what I can tell, was in service at least into the late 1990’s.  It is not currently listed on the Chicago Fire Department’s web site as an active station.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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  1. The fire insurance patrol was not the frontrunner of the fire dept. but was its own seperate entity and was funded by the insurance companies and was founded just before the Chicago fire. They looked and ran with the fire dept, but once on the scene the performed salvage operations. In 1959 they were disbanded and their rigs and buildings were sold to the city of Chicago for $1.00. My Father was quartered here (patrol 5 ) until its demise in 1959.

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