‘Chicago Fire’: What Does the Goat Crest Signify?

by Taylor Cunningham

Have you ever wondered why Chicago Fire’s Firehouse 51 displays a goat crest over its mantle? We have the answer for you, and it has nothing to do with the many fan theories that have been circling since the show’s inception in 2012.

The crest shows a horned goat rearing inside a badge. On top, a fire burns, and below, it read’s “fightin’ 81,” which refers to the firehouse’s truck. While the strange mascot has been adorning the house for years, it has rarely gotten attention from the series characters. Nonetheless, fans have been curious about its meaning.

A few of the theories center around certain myths. For example, firehouses used to keep goats around to eat the grass so the firefighters didn’t need to mow. And many people think that maybe the mascot links to that era. Another theory states that the very first fire that the crew extinguished was at a goat farm. So, the crest is a unique way of commemorating that feat.

And, of course, sports fans can’t help but link the animal to The Curse of the Billy Goat. As Chicago Cubs fans know, the superstition dated back to 1945, when people believed that the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern put a hex on the team after he and his pet goat were denied entrance to game 4 of that year’s World Series. Supposedly, because of that, the team didn’t win another championship until 2016.

But in reality, not one of those ideas is even remotely close to the truth. The goat is actually a tribute to the Chicago Fire’s first mentioned captain, Billy Bukanski.

The ‘Chicago Fire’ Goat Crest Pays Tribute to a Former Firehouse Captain

Billy Bukanski was never a physical character on the show. But he holds a special place in Chief Boden’s heart. And Boden actually explained the crests meaning once while speaking to Otis.

In a short conversation, Otis asked the chief why Firehouse 51 had such a silly crest compared to others around The Windy City. Boden explained that Bukanski was his mentor and friend when Boden was just beginning his career. And Bukanski went by the nickname “goat.”

Chief Boden didn’t go into much depth about his relationship with the former leader, but he made it clear that he wasn’t the only person who had a special connection with him. And with that, Otis read the room and dropped the conversation. He never again complained that the other teams had “cooler” mascots.

So there you have it. The Chicago Fire goat crest is no longer a mystery.