By Karen Kruse


By Mike Ditka

Some of my happiest memories are from my years playing football for the Chicago Bears for Coach George Halas at beautiful Wrigley Field. During that time in the 1960's, I had the privilege of visiting the Chicago Fire Department's Engine 78, the firehouse located across Waveland Avenue from the ball park.

Just as I always play hard to win and be the best, so do these firefighters who dedicate themselves to the community they serve. Visiting the firehouse, I always received a warm welcome, a hot cup of coffee, and fascinating conversation. Other players, including fellow Hall-of-Famer Bill George used to stop by occasionally, as well.

A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78 demonstrates joy, sadness, tragedy, and above all, courage and compassion. Karen Kruse's enthusiasm and dedication shine through as she lovingly captures the spirit and history of this unique piece of Chicago.

God bless you.


By Chicago Fire Commissioner James T. Joyce

"Engine 78 - Still alarm ... " These words have been broadcast thousands of times over the speaker in Engine 78's quarters. This proud old firehouse has been home to some of the hardest working public servants in the long history of our fabled fire department. The unique location of Engine 78 and Ambulance 6 serves as a landmark for visitors from all over the country. A great meeting place for families enjoying a day at the "Friendly Confines," where the friendly spirit of the neighborhood heroes proudly show off the shiny red truck and the worn brass sliding poles!

The whole city welcomes the story lovingly told about a true Chicago hero - Engine 78's quarters.


1. The Lakeview Fire Department
2. A Civilian's Guide to the CFD
3. A Tour of Engine 78
4. It's All About Pride
5. Leather Lungs and Brass Fittings
6. Angels and Awards
7. Historic Cemeteries and the CFD
8. In the Shadow of Wrigley Field
9. Famous Neighbors and Landmarks
10. An American Family
Selected Bibliography

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Copyright 2001
Karen L. Kruse. All rights reserved