Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Brother The Hero

New York City has St. Patrick's Cathedral, a beautiful church on Fifth Avenue where the Pope comes to visit when he's in town. Not to be outdone, Chicago has Holy Name Cathedral on the corner of State and Superior, a place where the Pope comes to visit when he's in town.

Holy Name is very special to many Chicagoans. Not many cathedrals have bullet markings in the bricks thanks to a gangland killing from the Al Capone days (top that, NYC!).

As the video shows, a fire broke out in the attic of the cathedral this morning, severely damaging the church with fire, smoke, and water damage.

My older brother John (number three out of five) has been a Chicago firefighter for nearly 15 years and has been on many fire runs throughout Chicago. As fate would have it, his firehouse was called and John was on the scene as we all slept.

He was part of the second group that went in, stretching 100 foot lengths of hose up narrow stairways and over 100 yr. old timbers to extinguish the fire and save the church from possible destruction.

As the pastors and fire chiefs spoke in front of the cameras after the fact, my brother and his crew from Engine 29 (in the shadow of U.S. Cellular Field) made sure nothing was left smouldering, carefully rolled up their hoses, and headed back the firehouse. Just another fire run for them.

However, someone noticed. ABC 7 in Chicago aired a story that led off their 6 o'clock news report that praised the firefighters, quoting my brother and putting his mug on the television. To paraphrase: he ain't pretty, he's my brother.

If you visit this site, you can access the video of the story that ran (no direct link to the video).

Personal note: Congrats to my big brother John - I'm glad you're safe and you made your family proud. Your nephew & nieces will have something to brag about for a long time. Call me when you get a chance...



Jeff in San Diego said...

That's a great story, Cap'n, and I don't mean to pick nits off of gnats, but you might want to re-read the fifth paragraph ...
I'm guessing that you meant "100 foot lengths of hose," not "house."

If you fix it, feel free to delete this comment. There's no reason that everyone else who comes here should know.

Stephen said...

Excellent, Cap'n. You have every right to be proud of your big brother. Thanks for sharing this.