Chicago Fire is an American action-drama television series that airs on NBC and was created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas with Dick Wolf serving as an executive producer. The series originally premiered on October 10, 2012. The show follows the lives of the firefighters and paramedics working at the Chicago Fire Department at the firehouse of Engine 51, Truck 81, Squad 3, Ambulance 61, and Battalion 25. The pilot episode had an early release at NBC.com, before the series' premiere on television.
On March 27, 2013, NBC announced plans for a possible spin-off of Chicago Fire. NBC greenlit the police procedural spin-off series, under the title Chicago P.D., which premiered on January 8, 2014. On May 1, 2015, NBC ordered another spin-off of Chicago Fire, a medical drama called Chicago Med, which premiered on November 17, 2015. Additionally, the police procedural led to a 2017 legal series entitled Chicago Justice.
On November 9, 2015, NBC renewed the series for a fifth season. The season premiered on October 11, 2016.
The show explores the lives, both professional and personal, of the firefighters and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department at the quarters of Engine Co. 51; Truck Co. 81; Rescue Squad Co. 3; and Ambulance 61. Following the death of veteran Firefighter Andrew Darden, loyalties fracture and divide as Lieutenant Matthew Casey, officer-in-charge of Truck Co. 81, and Lieutenant Kelly Severide, officer-in-charge of Squad Co. 3, both blame one another for the death of their long-time friend and colleague. Severide is consumed with more guilt when he learns Darden's wife also blames him for the tragedy. Despite their differences, the firehouse comes together after the near death of Truck Co. 81 Firefighter Christopher Herrmann.
New to the station is Firefighter Candidate Peter Mills, the Candidate assigned to Truck Co. 81, who is following in the footsteps of his late father and trying to find his place, over the objections of his mother. Alongside the firefighters are Paramedics Gabriela Dawson and Leslie Shay, the only women in the firehouse. Under the leadership of 25th Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, the firehouse faces life or death decisions every day, but look to each other like family, making sure to look out for each other, no matter what happens. Chicago Fire's tagline is "This Family Burns Deep".
MainNotesJesse Spencer as Lieutenant Matthew Casey, Truck 81. Casey is the lieutenant in charge of Truck 81. A skilled handyman and carpenter, he freelances as a construction contractor when off-duty. Despite his reticence and aloof demeanor, he is fiercely protective of the firefighters under him and commands their loyalty and respect.Taylor Kinney as Lieutenant Kelly Severide, Rescue Squad 3. Severide is the other lieutenant at Firehouse 51 and is in charge of Squad 3. In contrast to Casey, he is charismatic and portrayed to be something of a "ladies' man". He and Casey have been friends since their days at the CFD Academy but their friendship is strained after a mutual colleague dies on the job. His father is Captain Benny Severide, a long-time friend of Chief Boden and Henry Mills, father of Candidate Peter Mills.Monica Raymund as Paramedic in Charge/Firefighter Candidate Gabriela "Gabby" Dawson, Ambulance 61/Truck 81. Dawson is one of the few women in 51 and is usually treated as a sister by the men. She was the Paramedic in Charge (PIC) of Ambulance 61 but switched to Truck 81 after passing the CFD Academy. Her transfer proves to be a turning point in her relationship with Casey, who is now technically her "boss", but they still care deeply for one another. Her older brother Antonio is a Chicago PD detective (he also features in the spin-off Chicago P.D.).Lauren German as Paramedic Leslie Elizabeth Shay, Ambulance 61: An experienced paramedic, Shay was the designated ambulance driver and well-liked by the mostly male crew of 51. She and Kelly Severide share an apartment as roommates and are best friends. Popular with her co-workers, she was openly gay, often cracking self-deprecating jokes about it. She was killed in the season 3 premiere, continuing from the season 2 finale cliffhanger, in which a serial arsonist intentionally set a trap for the first responders.Charlie Barnett as Firefighter Candidate/Paramedic in Charge (PIC) Peter Mills, Ambulance 61David Eigenberg as Senior Firefighter Christopher Herrmann, Truck 81: He, Otis and Dawson jointly invest in a small pub called Molly's which one of their victims had been trying to sell. Molly's has also featured on Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med as a favorite hideout of cops and medical personnel.Teri Reeves as Doctor Hallie Thomas (Season 1). She was Lieutenant Casey's ex-fiancée. They broke up due to differing views and her hectic schedule and his irregular hours prevented them from spending much time together, although they remained friends. She was murdered in a fire as part of a cover-up after she discovers that one of her colleagues at her clinic was selling medication to drug dealers.Eamonn Walker as Chief Wallace Boden, Battalion 25. He oversees the firefighters and paramedics of Truck 81, Squad 3 and Ambulance 61 at Firehouse 51. A long-time veteran of the CFD he is extremely protective of the men and women who serve under him, even putting his career on the line several times.Yuri Sardarov as Firefighter Brian "Otis" Zvonecek, Truck 81 (Season 2–present; recurring Season 1). Prior to Mills' assignment in the pilot, Otis was the latest Candidate to be assigned to 81. He became the chauffeur after Joe Cruz transferred to Squad 3.Christian Stolte as Firefighter Randall "Mouch" McHolland, Truck 81 (Season 2–present; recurring Season 1). Another of 81's more senior firefighters, Mouch is the de facto "legal advisor" of 51 and is their union representative. His wife is Chicago PD Sergeant Trudy Platt (Amy Morton), who also appears in Chicago P.D..Joe Minoso as Firefighter/Chauffeur Joe Cruz, Truck 81 (Season 2–present; recurring Season 1). Cruz was formerly the designated chauffeur for Truck 81. A native of the gangster-infested neighborhoods of Humboldt Park he spends the first two seasons constantly trying to bail his wayward younger brother out of trouble. In the season 3 finale it was revealed that he transferred to Squad 3.Kara Killmer as Paramedic in Charge Sylvie Brett, Ambulance 61 (Season 3–present): Sylvie is the new Paramedic for Ambulance No.61 replacing Leslie Shay following her death. Brett is a small-Midwestern-town girl from Indiana and is a "runaway bride" who goes "up I-65 to Chicago" to escape her ex-fiancé Harrison after their engagement fell apart. Initially, she has difficulty adjusting to city life due to her naiveté, as shown by the fact that she leaves cash out on the table with the windows open and rented an apartment in a neighborhood known for crime because the rent was cheap. She was in a relationship with Joe Cruz and shares an apartment with Gabby Dawson. In the middle of season 4, she becomes Paramedic in Charge (PIC) after Chilton is fired.Dora Madison as Paramedic In Charge Jessica "Chili" Chilton (Season 4 Main episodes 1–14); Season 3 recurring): She was brought in as the new Paramedic in Charge (PIC) after Mills' departure. Her arrival was initially met with some frostiness from the rest of the crew as they were still getting over Mills' sudden departure. She was previously with a firehouse in the West Side and is experienced in dealing with victims of major trauma.Steven R. McQueen as Firefighter Candidate/Paramedic Jimmy Borrelli (Seasons 4–5; Season 4 episodes 1–6 recurring). He was introduced in the Season 4 premiere and is the newest Candidate assigned to Truck 81Miranda Rae Mayo as Firefighter Stella Kidd: Truck 81 (Season 5–present; Season 4 recurring). She is Jimmy's Replacement on Truck, She had a prior relationship with Kelly Severide.Randy Flagler as Firefighter Capp: a member of Squad 3.Anthony Ferraris as Firefighter Tony: a member of Squad 3.DuShon Monique Brown as Connie: Chief Boden's secretary.Mo Gallini as Firefighter Jose Vargas: a member of Squad 3, Vargas recently transferred from Truck 81 in the episode "Professional Courtesy". A sixteen-year veteran, he is forced to retire after he is injured in a warehouse fire and considers suicide by jumping from his apartment building rooftop, but Severide and Casey talk him out of it.Shiri Appleby as Clarice Carthage: Clarice is introduced as the pregnant ex-girlfriend of Leslie Shay. In season 1, episode 13, Shay and Clarice reconcile their relationship and Clarice moves back in with Shay, only for Clarice to break up with Shay for a second time at the end of season 1, episode 16.Kathleen Quinlan as Nancy Casey: Matthew and Christie Casey's mother who is incarcerated for murdering their verbally abusive father and her husband Gregory in 1997, fifteen years prior to the beginning of the series. She had grown estranged from her children while in prison; it was mentioned that Christie still could not forgive her and would testify against her at each parole hearing, thereby postponing Nancy's release, while Casey visited on rare occasions. Casey is successful in getting Nancy released on parole after convincing Christie to let go of the past. Nancy stays with her son as part of her parole but things become tense between mother and son when Casey voices his discomfort over her going out with "a penpal" just hours after being released. She moves in with her former cellmate, but not before telling her children to mend their relationship.Sarah Shahi as Renee Royce: Renee becomes attracted to Kelly after he saves her in a traffic accident, and they begin dating. In the season 1 finale, she announced that she is pregnant with Kelly Severide's child. In season 2, it is revealed that the baby is not Severide's.Treat Williams as Benjamin "Benny" Severide: Kelly's father and fire captain who served with Chief Wallace Boden and Peter Mills' father Henry. He is a skilled fire investigator currently with the CFD's Office of Fire Investigation Division (OFI). In season 2, Gail McLeod plots a way to overthrow Chief Boden and recruits Benny to see if he will command 51. He accepts but then he backs out because of his longstanding friendship with Wallace. He and Chief Boden had fallen out after the death of Henry Mills in the line of duty to the point where they even argued in front of Boden's men at the firehouse but both have been able to set aside their differences when needed. He had a love-hate relationship with his son as he had left Kelly and his mother when the latter was ten years old and had Katie, Kelly's half-sister, with another woman. He lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin with his new wife Beth and two sons but abandoned them and moved to Chicago without Kelly's knowledge. In season 2, he was revealed to be responsible for the disappearance of Vince Keeler, the mobster behind Katie's kidnapping, and confesses to Detective Voight. Voight, being a father himself, lets Benny off and Benny returns to Kenosha on his advice.Robyn Coffin as Cindy Herrmann: Wife of Christopher Herrmann, and mother of their five children (4 boys and 1 girl). At the beginning of the series, she and Christopher have just lost their home to foreclosure and together with their children move in with her parents. After watching Christopher get in over his head with various side jobs in order to get them back into a house of their own, the last of which being a rather unsavory limo service, she tells him that it isn't worth it if it means that much trouble. She then suggests they look into renting a home, and tells him about a complex where one of her co-workers lives where she heard there is a vacancy. "We'll make it our dream home." She tells him. In the episode "Under the Knife" Herrmann announces that Cindy is pregnant with their fifth child. In "Ambition" she has a medical episode as a result of the pregnancy and passes out and is rushed to the hospital. In "Hell of a Ride" she has a baby boy via an emergency C-Section. As she is Catholic and does not use birth control because of religious restrictions, Herrmann surprises her on their twentieth anniversary by getting a vasectomy.William Smillie as Kevin Hadley: a former member of Squad 3, he was transferred out of Squad 3 to another house because of an inappropriate prank on Peter Mills. In season 2 he targets Firehouse 51 and personally targets Severide for revenge with arson attacks and burns himself when pouring gas on himself and standing on top of an accelerant, leaving him badly scarred and in constant pain. He is currently in prison.Edwin Hodge as Rick Newhouse of Squad 3: he transfers from the fictional Squad 6 based in South Side in the season 2 episode "One More Shot" to fill the empty spot left behind after Clarke's promotion and subsequent transfer. His experience and charismatic personality quickly wins over Severide and the rest of the men, although Herrmann initially antagonized him as he had yet to come to terms with the recent suicide of Candidate Rebecca Jones. When off duty, he moonlights as a skiptracer and has been seen entertaining his coworkers with stories of his "clientele". Mills looks up to him as an older brother figure. He hails from the crime-ridden Chicago area of Roseland and, despite getting out, still goes back to visit family. He is a single father with an elementary school-age daughter Naomi. In season 3, he leaves Chicago to visit family in Miami and Scott Rice takes over his spot on Squad 3 on a temporary basis. Whether or not Newhouse will return remains ambiguous.Pouch the dog: Peter is given a dog by a child from a family who could not take care of it. Hermann, Chief Boden, and Mouch decide against it. Eventually, the three agree after Hermann suggests the three should rethink the dog. She is given a name and adopted by the team. Pouch's name was decided by Hermann, who suggests she should be named after Mouch, which is half man, half couch, to Pouch: half pooch, half couch. Mouch was initially against them adopting Pouch because of a bad experience he had with the dog at his former firehouse but comes to enjoy Pouch's company. The two are often seen on the couch together.Jeff Hephner as Lieutenant Jeff Clarke: After his firehouse is closed, he is transferred to Firehouse 51, Squad 3. Initially, he was not liked by the rest of the crew as he was extremely private and preferred to read newspapers at the squad's table rather than socialize with them in the lounge. His arrival at 51 coincided with McLeod's efforts to find reasons to close Firehouse 51 down and he was falsely accused of being McLeod's mole. When the rest of the firehouse realizes that he had actually turned McLeod down, they befriend him and helped him through his marital problems. He was also revealed to be a former Marine and Iraq veteran. His wife Lisa had cheated on him while he was on his final tour and were estranged when the character is first introduced. They reconnect after she asks for his forgiveness and he and the crew were nearly killed by a burning propane tanker on a call. Lisa's ex-lover Hayes turned out to be a loanshark who continuously harasses them to the point where Clarke was prepared to kill the man with his military-issue sniper rifle. When Hayes is found dead, Clarke becomes the prime suspect and tries to protect Lisa upon finding out that she had been involved. He transferred out of 51 after being promoted to lieutenant and is now the commander of Truck 25. Clarke hurt himself on the job and returns to Med School and is a resident at Chicago MedMichelle Forbes as Gail McLeod: a financial consultant hired by the state to help trim the budget of the CFD which includes closing some firehouses. She had Lieutenant Spellman, a transfer from a closed firehouse, "report" to her on the activities of the crew at 51 but Spellman was coerced into transferring out when the entire crew, led by Lieutenants Casey and Severide, staged a plan to run him out upon discovering that he was the mole. Mouch rallies the union to fight back when he discovers the reason why McLeod was so keen on closing down firehouses. The community and fellow firefighters rally behind 51, drawing the attention of State Senator Wheeler, who orders his assistant Isabella, then-girlfriend of Peter Mills, to reverse the closure of 51.John Hoogenakker as Lieutenant Spellman: He is assigned to Firehouse 51, along with Clarke, after city budget cuts force downsizing in the department. He is later revealed to be the snitch to Gail McLeod and is "transferred" out of 51. Mills realizes that he was McLeod's "spy" and Spellman is transferred out after some of the men repeatedly taped pink transfer forms in his locker and the entire crew, Lieutenants Casey and Severide and Chief Boden included, hand him pink transfer forms.Christine Evangelista as Allison Rafferty, Paramedic in Charge, Ambulance 61: After Dawson starts training at the Academy to become a firefighter, transfer paramedic Allison Rafferty is introduced as Leslie Shay's new partner. At first Rafferty seems distant toward Shay and when Shay later confronts her, she tells her that her previous partner at 24 was a lesbian and used to make phone calls to her girlfriend that made Rafferty uncomfortable. In her second episode appearance, it is revealed she was a resident doctor at Chicago Med but dropped out when her fiancé developed Hodgkin's lymphoma; he died six months later. She is suspended for treating a patient that refused treatment, and Dawson regains her spot on Ambulance 61.Alexandra Metz as Elise Mills: Peter Mills' sister. She helps run the family restaurant with her mom and is torn between being protective of Peter and encouraging him to follow his passion for public service.Brittany Curran as Katie Nolan: Kelly Severide's half-sister, and Benny Severide's daughter. Kelly and Katie didn't know each other until they meet in the restaurant where Katie works as a chef. Katie was kidnapped after "the blackout" by Vince Keeler and is badly injured. Katie later moves to Colorado.Jon Seda as Detective Antonio Dawson of the Chicago Police Department: Gabriela's older brother. He is enlisted by Casey for help when Casey runs into trouble with the seemingly dirty CPD Detective Hank Voight. He is later almost killed in an undercover job gone bad, and joins District 21's Intelligence Unit run by the newly out of prison Hank Voight. Main cast on Chicago P.D..Jason Beghe as Sergeant Henry "Hank" Voight: a seemingly dirty cop who clashes with Matt (in the episode "Professional Courtesy") after Voight's son's drunk driving paralyzes a teen. Voight covers for his son and targets Matt when he refuses to back down. He was imprisoned for trying to have Casey murdered but has since been released and promoted to sergeant. He heads up the Intelligence Unit of Chicago P.D. and has since been working with Casey to track down the person or people involved with the death of his ex-fiancée. At the end of season 1 episode 23, it is shown that Voight is actually posing as a dirty cop in an undercover collaboration with Internal Affairs to smoke out criminals and other dirty cops. Main cast on Chicago P.D..Sophia Bush as Detective Erin Lindsay: a tough detective with District 21's Intelligence Unit and Kelly's ex-girlfriend. Main cast on Chicago P.D..Jesse Lee Soffer as Detective Jay Halstead: a detective with the Intelligence Unit who once had a relationship with Gabriela Dawson during his undercover assignment. Main cast on Chicago P.D..Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson, the lieutenant of the Manhattan Special Victims unit of the NYPD. Main cast on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins, a detective of the Manhattan Special Victims unit of the NYPD. Main cast on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.Tamara Tunie as M.E. Melinda Warner, a medical examiner in New York City. Recurring and former main cast on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."A Dark Day" is part one of a crossover with Chicago P.D. where an explosion occurs at Chicago Med, leading the fire and police departments to track down the culprits. It features Hank Voight, Antonio Dawson, Erin Lindsay, Jay Halstead, Kim Burgess and Kevin Atwater, while "8:30 PM" features Matthew Casey, Kelly Severide, Wallace Boden, Leslie Shay, Peter Mills and Joe Cruz."Nobody Touches Anything" is part one of a crossover with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Chicago P.D. centered on a pedophile ring. It features Hank Voight and Erin Lindsay from P.D. and Amanda Rollins from SVU. However, no characters from Fire appear in either "Chicago Crossover" or "They'll Have to Go Through Me"."Three Bells" is part one of a crossover with Chicago P.D. about the pursuit of the arsonist who killed Leslie Shay. It features Kim Burgess, Sean Roman and Antonio Dawson, while "A Little Devil Complex" features Gabriela Dawson, Peter Mills and Wallace Boden."We Called Her Jellybean" is part one of a crossover with Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit about a case of rape and murder in Chicago that resembles an unsolved case in New York. It features Olivia Benson and Melinda Warner from SVU and Hank Voight and Antonio Dawson from P.D., while "The Number of Rats" features Matthew Casey and Wallace Boden. However, no characters from Fire appear in "Daydream Believer"."The Beating Heart" is part one of a crossover with Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. where Christopher Herrmann is treated for a stab wound while a woman pulled out of a fire is discovered to have been given unnecessary chemotherapy along with other patients. It features Will Halstead, April Sexton, Ethan Choi, and Connor Rhodes from Med as well as Adam Ruzek, Kim Burgess and Trudy Platt from P.D., while "Malignant" features Kelly Severide, Gabriela Dawson, Sylvie Brett, Christopher Herrmann, Jessica Chilton, Joe Cruz and Mouch. However, no characters from Fire appear in "Now I'm God"."Some Make It, Some Don't" is part one of a crossover with Chicago P.D. about Kelly Severide being brought to the 21st District after his car caused a deadly crash and the team investigates a group of carjackers who are the key to Severide's innocence. It features Maggie Lockwood from Med as well as Hank Voight, Trudy Platt, and Erin Lindsay from P.D., while "Don't Bury This Case" features Matthew Casey, Kelly Severide, and Mouch."Deathtrap" is part one of a crossover with Chicago P.D. and Chicago Justice where Firehouse 51 responds to a warehouse fire that puts the lives of many in danger, including a relative of a Chicago police officer. It features Will Halstead, Natalie Manning, April Sexton, Daniel Charles, Ethan Choi, Maggie Lockwood, and Sharon Goodwin from Med, Hank Voight, Erin Lindsay, Kim Burgess, and Alvin Olinsky from P.D., and Mark Jefferies from Justice, while "Emotional Proximity" features Wallace Boden, Kelly Severide, and Sylvie Brett, while "Fake" only features Kelly Severide.
The series pilot, co-written by creators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, was filmed in Chicago and, according to an NBC representative, the series will continue to be filmed there. Producer John L. Roman was involved from the beginning having worked with the Chicago Fire Department and Deputy District Chief Steve "Chik" Chikerotis on Backdraft. Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel made an appearance in the series' pilot episode. Emanuel stated: "It's easier being mayor than playing mayor. I told them I'd do it under one condition: the TV show is making an investment to the Firefighters' Widows and Orphans Fund."
The network placed an order for the series in May 2012. After receiving an additional script order in October, Chicago Fire was picked up for a full season on November 8, 2012. On January 29, 2013, Chicago Fire had its episode total increased from 22 to 23. One week later, on February 6, 2013, Chicago Fire received one more episode, giving it a total of 24 episodes for season one.
The building used in the show as the firehouse is a working Chicago Fire Department firehouse, and is the headquarters of Engine 18, located at 1360 South Blue Island Avenue at Maxwell Street, between 13th & Racine. Housed here is ALS Engine 18, 2–2–1 (Deputy District Chief – 1st District), 2–1–21 (1st District Chief), 6–4–16 (High-Rise Response Unit), and ALS Ambulance 65. The station house used in Chicago PD is just a few blocks away at 949 West Maxwell Street at Morgan Street.
Chicago artist and retired firefighter Lee J. Kowalski's oil paintings of fire scenes can be spotted in several episodes.
Molly's, a small bar owned by Herrmann, Otis and Dawson, is filmed at Lotties in Bucktown. Filming no longer takes place on location to avoid disrupting business. Instead, the interior and exterior surroundings were recreated at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.
In November 2012, WGN-TV reported a plane crash at 29th and Martin Luther King Drive on their morning newscast and showed live footage for a few minutes before realizing it was merely a set piece pre-staged for Chicago Fire and not an actual emergency situation.
The first season currently holds a score of 49 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating mixed to average reviews.
On March 27, 2013, NBC announced plans for a proposed spin-off of Chicago Fire, the police procedural drama Chicago P.D. that would involve the Chicago Police Department, the spin-off series being created and produced by Dick Wolf, with Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, and Matt Olmstead serving as executive producers. It premiered on January 8, 2014.
The show follows an Intelligence Unit of the police and is filmed entirely in Chicago. The main cast includes Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick Flueger, Elias Koteas, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins and Archie Kao.
In February 2015, NBC announced plans to make another spinoff, the medical drama Chicago Med. A special backdoor pilot episode of the show aired during Chicago Fire's third season. On May 1, 2015, Chicago Med was officially ordered to a series, starring Oliver Platt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Nick Gehlfuss, Yaya DaCosta, Torrey DeVitto, Rachel DiPillo, Marlyne Barrett, Colin Donnell and Brian Tee.
Broadcast and streaming
Chicago Fire is broadcast by NBC in the United States. The latest five episodes of Chicago Fire are available on Hulu with a subscription. Season 4 is available on NBC.com and the NBC app with a cable subscription. All episodes are available from electronic sell-through platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu.