‘Chicago Fire’: Why Cast Says Filming First Deadly Fire Was Absolutely Brutal

by Jacklyn Krol
Barry Brecheisen, Getty Images

The cast of Chicago Fire realized just how intense it gets for real life firefighters.

In an interview with Cinema Blend, the cast revealed that their first fire wasn’t brutal because of Darden dying, but the actual heat. Executive producer Dick Wolf likes to make things as realistic as possible. This meant that the cast had to wear the insulated quilting inside their jackets. And they couldn’t even unzip it.

Joe Minoso, who portrays Cruz spoke about their most intense stunt for the first time.

“When we did the pilot, the weather was, like, weirdly perfect for like the whole week. It was just like the best Chicago three weeks of weather that you’ve ever imagined. And then the last two days were bitterly cold and dropped to 40 degrees.”

The cast agreed that the 40 degrees is no longer bitterly cold to them as they acclimated to the Chicago weather and regular drops below freezing and sometimes zero.

“The first day back, we were doing reshoots for the pilot. It was our very first day working and we had to go do this Darden fire and they threw all that gear on us and the tanks and all this stuff and it was 105 degrees outside,” he revealed. It wasn’t a feel like of 105, it was actually 105 degrees, no real feel. The worst part? There was no air conditioning.

‘Chicago Fire’ Sets are Hot!

Christian Stolte added, “It was pass-out hot, and we were brand new at doing this so we didn’t have protocols in place. We had one man, Steve Chikerotis, looking at everybody’s face to see who looked like they were about to pass out. That’s how I remember it.”

The actor who played Chief Walker, Chikerotis, is a real-life Chicago Fire Chief and consultant for the show. He would clock everyone and make them drink entire water bottles in front of him to make sure that they would be alright.

The stunt not only gave them a taste of real-life firefighters, but also an appreciation for them. At first, some were concerned at what they got themselves into. The instance made them bond as a cast and after getting through the first big hurdle, there was nothing they could not accomplish in the future.

“18 bottles of water and our socks were wet, my underwear was wet,” David Eigenberg said. “And it was brutal. But we actually, for the first thing of the actual series, we’ve never gotten that hot. And we’ve gotten crazy hot, but we never… Because we all were like ‘What did we get ourselves into? This isn’t normal.’ And Dick Wolf was very explicit that we were going to wear the insulated quilting on the inside, because it makes it look rich and full, and we’ve never taken it out.”