Willoughby Tower Firefighter Memorial

One of the things Chicago does well is honor its police and firefighters.  Especially those who die in the line of duty.  At Chicago fire station #1 (419 South Wells Street), there is a memorial to two firefighters who were killed in one of the Loop’s skyscrapers. It happened about a mile away at the Willoughby Tower (8 South Michigan Avenue) in September of 1981.  One member of a group of firefighters trying to escape a smoky...

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Third Chicago Skyscraper Fire in Three Weeks

For the third time in three weeks, there has been a significant fire in a Chicago residential skyscraper. Here’s a statement from Alderman Reilly’s office: On Sunday afternoon at roughly 2:00 p.m., an extra-alarm fire broke out in a condo unit located on the 28th Floor of 1455 N. Sandburg Terrace, a residential high-rise located in the Gold Coast neighborhood.  Initial reports indicate the fire broke out in Apartment...

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Aftermath of a Skyscraper Fire

Here’s what it looks like at The Plaza on Dewitt (260 East Chestnut Street) a couple of days after a fire on the 36th floor of the 43-story building killed an elderly German woman. If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see the windows have been boarded up on some of the units on the 36th and 37th floors.  Meanwhile, the streets below are clogged with an army of carpet cleaning and other disaster repair service vans....

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Second Skyscraper Fire This Month Kills A Woman

By now you’ve heard about the fire that broke out at the Plaza on Dewitt (260 East Chestnut Street).  Here’s a picture of the aftermath from the outside: According to the Chicago Tribune, the fire on the 36th floor of the 43-story tower killed an elderly woman who lived in the condominium where the fire broke out after midnight.  About a dozen people were hurt. The Trib quotes people at the Chicago Fire...

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Park District to Burn Lincoln Park

Bad things happen in nature.  The cute and fuzzy are eaten by the ugly and toothy.  Sometimes the cutest penguin gets left behind.  And every once in a while Mother Nature sets things on fire. The Chicago Park District has worked hard to restore patches of the city’s parks to what they used to be — Illinois prairie.  In the hum and thrush of summer they are fascinating places to sit and watch nature at...

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Holy Name Cathedral Closed Until At Least August

Parishioners at Holy Name Cathedral got more bad news over the weekend.  Their beloved church will be closed, “until August at the earliest” according to pastor Dan Mayall. The archdiocese’s flagship place of worship was damaged by fire in February, almost exactly a year after it was closed for months when a chunk of woodwork fell from the ceiling. In the weekend bulletin, Mayall explains that it has not...

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Holy Name Cathedral Fire Update One

Here’s a statement from Alderman Reilly’s office.  Not too much new, but it clarifies a few points. At approximately 5:30 am this morning a fire broke out at Holy Name Cathedral, located at 735 North State Street. The fire began in the attic of the cathedral, just above the sprinkler system and in the east of the transept. While the origin of the fire is being investigated by the Chicago Fire Department, the fire started...

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Holy Name Cathedral burns

By now many of you have heard that Holy Name Cathedral is burning.   The fire was first discovered around 6:00am today and from what I’ve seen on TV, all of the priests and nuns got out of the rectory and convent safely.  Neither Casa Jesus nor FXW school are threatened.  The fire was mostly put out by 8:00am. From my bedroom I look down on the cathedral, and it’s been heartbreaking to watch the streams of water from the...

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