Code 3 Chicago Firehouse Engine Co. 78 (13103)
This is Item #13103
Release: August 2000
Edition Quantity: Limited Edition
Dimensions: 14L X 6.75W X 8H (in.)
History Of Engine Co. 78
Chicago Fire Department
By Jim Regan
Engine 78 of the Chicago Fire Department was organized on December 31, 1894 in
an area of the city formerly known as the Town of Lakeview. The company's First
Captain was George B. Miller. Equipment consisted of an Ahrens steam Fire engine
capable of pumping 650 gallons per minute drawn by two horses and a separate
horse drawn hose wagon carrying 650 feet of 21/2' hose. Partial motorization
came in 1912 when Engine 78 received a Harder Chemical and Hose Wagon which they
operated until 1915.
During November 1915, Engine 78 moved into a new Fire station located at 1052
West Waveland Avenue where they have remained in service for the last 84 years.
This Firehouse was the First in Chicago designed for motorized Fire apparatus
and no stable for the horses was provided. New construction was occurring across
the street which would affect the neighborhood for all time. A modern ball park
was being erected to house the Whales of the Federal League, and since 1916 the
Cubs of the National League.
Over the years, many visiting companies have made 78's quarters their home.
Squad 4 was the First tenant, followed by various Divisions and Marshals,
including the 3rd Division in 1929. Ambulance 6 was organized there in 1928 and
has remained with Engine 78 since.
The neighborhood protected by Engine 78 saw some rough times during the 1960's
and 70's but it never was ravaged by the arson epidemic that did great damage to
its immediate neighbor to the north, Uptown. Today, the area is in resurgence
and is being 'gentrified' as older buildings are rehabbed and restored. The area
is now known as 'Wrigleyville,' obviously due to its proximity to Wrigley Field,
right across the street from 78.
Engine 78, 'The Pride of Wrigleyville' is currently manned by 3 platoons of
Firefighters led by Captain Patrick Maloney and two lieutenants. They operate a
1997 HME/Luverne 1500 gallon per minute pumper that has a 500 gallon water tank.
The company protects the diverse area of Chicago's Northside lakefront from
Diversey Avenue to Lawrence Avenue including many high rise apartment buildings,
commercial areas and light industry. During 1998, the company responded to 2298
runs of which 1422 were for Fire responses.
In Memory Captain Thomas E. Prendergast
At 2154 Hours on July 23, 1998, Engine Co. 78, led by Captain Prendergast,
responded on the Box Alarm for a Fire in Chicago's 'Uptown' neighborhood. The
Fire building was a 3 story brick building under renovation. Heavy Fire
initially involved the wooden rear porches and ultimately extended to all floors
of the structure necessitating the transmission of a 2-11 alarm.
Captain Prendergast led his company in stretching and operating a hose line in
an attempt to cut off the Fire. In the course of his duties he suffered a severe
heart attack and was removed immediately to a hospital.