The Chicago Building Permits Collection also contains 12 ledgers of fire reports from 1833 to 1968. Starting from the Chicago Building Permits Collection, select City of Chicago Fire Reports, then select the reel that covers the date you are interested in.
|Reel UID||Title||Dates||Index start|
|CBPC_FR_01||Fire Reports||1933-1945||p. 182|
|CBPC_FR_01||Fire Reports||1945-1951||p. 465|
|CBPC_FR_02||Fire Reports||Sep 1951 - Mar 1956||p. 4|
|CBPC_FR_02||Fire Reports Book 3||Apr 1956 - Feb 1957||p. 288|
|CBPC_FR_03||Fire Reports Book 4||Feb 1957 - Dec 1957||p. 4|
|CBPC_FR_03||Fire Reports Book 5||Jan 1958 - Jul 1958||p. 285|
|CBPC_FR_03||Fire Reports Book 6||Jul 1958 - Jun 1959||p. 566|
|CBPC_FR_04||Fire Reports Book 7||Jun 1959 - Aug 1960||p. 4|
|CBPC_FR_04||Fire Reports Book 8||Aug 1960 - Jan 1962||p. 288|
|CBPC_FR_04||Fire Reports Book 9||Jan 1962 - May 1965||p. 569|
|CBPC_FR_05||Fire Reports Book 10||May 1965 - Nov 1966||p. 4|
|CBPC_FR_05||Fire Reports Book 11||Nov 1966 - Dec 1968||p. 284|
NOTE: The Index start page refers to the page number in Digital Reel. You can click on the page number at the top of the screen, type in the desired page number and jump to that page.
The handwritten fire report indexes devote a page or two for each letter of the alphabet. In some cases a street name may appear on the wrong page, if its proper page was running out of room. In the example below, there is an index entry for Ashland Ave. on the "B" index page.
The page numbers that are reported in the index are the page numbers stamped in the upper left and upper right corners of the page images on the microfilm. They do not correspond to the page numbers on the reel that Digital Reel reports.
The addresses are not listed in order within each alphabetic page. You will need to scan the page carefully to find a specific address.
Use the VIEW FILM feature to scroll ahead in the reel, pausing to pay attention to the page numbers as shown on the images. You may need to select a page, then Zoom in to see the page numbers. Be careful not to scroll ahead into the next Fire Report ledger book. Here is the fire report for that entry on Ashland. Note that there is a slight discrepancy in the street address between the index and the actual report.
The format of the fire report forms does not change significantly over time. Some of the terminology changes, and a couple of fields get added, but there are no major changes to interpreting the reports.
The reports are rarely filled in completely. The most common information conveyed is:
Noteworthy or large fires may have several entries in the report ledgers, with one entry for each address impacted. Below is the first of 39 separate reports for buildings on Halsted St. and Exchange Ave. for the May 19, 1934 Union Stock Yards Fire.