Chicago – City of Fire?

Earlier today, Liza and I heard sirens right below our 3rd floor apartment, rushing south on Broadway. No big deal, we hear them all the’s part of living in the city. We just always hope no one is hurt. A few hours later, while satisfying my hourly news fix, I check out the Trib online. What’s the big news, you ask? An extra alarm fire at the Dominick’s grocery store. Lots of smoke, some people hurt, a pretty big deal. This causes Liza to ask me, for the umpteenth time, what’s the deal with fires in this city???

It never fails, she notes, that each time we watch the news before work, there’s always a mention of a fire. Now, Chicago is a big city, a major metropolis with millions of citizens and just as many buildings, both old and new. But does every other city have as many fires as it seems we do? She lived in NY up until 3 years ago and she doesn’t remember this many fires mentioned in the news. Is this something specific to Chicago? I know we have our share of porch collapses, but do we have an abnormally high number of fires as well?

4 Comments so far

  1. betty (unregistered) on June 20th, 2005 @ 1:49 pm

    what a dumb blog.


    there are fires everywhere in any city.

    maybe she should go back to ny and stay.

    get a life.

    people knew of this tragedy, you didn’t have to post it.


  2. steven (unregistered) on June 20th, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

    Well, “Betty”, thank you for responding to my “silly, dumb blog”. I’m happy you enjoyed it.

  3. nick (unregistered) on June 21st, 2005 @ 12:24 pm


    having lived a several cities, chicago among them, i dont think that the number of fires are that far out of the norm. the difference is chicago, you usually HEAR about the fires. im in NYC now. and have seen several fires. but only the BIG ones where people are critically injured or die make the news! i would say that is the biggest difference.

    as for betty’s naive comments… only a lack of rational thought would lead someone to that reply. the reality is, not all cities are prone to fire as much as chicago (or parts of)and others. elements of construction and lifestyle and climate influance this. chicago has a lot of wood construction (fire escapes included), and has high demands on utilities which yeilds heater fires in winter and electrical fires during the summer AC months. a location such as san francisco doesnt have these issues (but the ground moves there… so take your pick)

  4. tom (unregistered) on June 21st, 2005 @ 1:10 pm

    while helping me move into my current apartment, my cousin once remarked astoundedly (referring to all cities in general), “the city is always on fire!”

    and yeah, betty’s comment’s unecessary. yes, people knew about the fire already, but our goal isn’t to report the news, it’s to bring a more personal side to it, and that you did. thank you.

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