Backdraft (1991) Script

Leave me alone will you?

You think you're so smart.

Would you stay still already? What a geek!

I'm not a geek.

You're doing it wrong.

Shut up!

You're doing it wrong.

It doesn't go like that.

Who asked you?

Who's your brother?

You are, Stevie!

Right. You do it like this, it'll open up in a fire, you'll get burned and die.

Let's go.

What do you got there, Adcox? A big deal?

Medium deal, Captain.

Brian, want to come along?

Watch your old man earn his keep.

Dad?

Stephen, you've come a dozen times.

Give your brother a chance. What do you say?

We'll be back in a minute. How about it, sport?

Sure. Come on.

Pull the cord, Brian! 1545 ldyllwild.

Give it a yank, a good pull.

You've gotta get these cars out of the way. Give it another yank.


There it is, right over there. See it?

Okay. You stay near the truck, pal.

That doesn't look too bad.

Drop two lines and hold the squad.

Everything I own is up there.

All my stuff's up there!

Adcox, ladder up.

That's your old man up there, Brian.


Nice grab, Captain!

Take it easy. You'll be okay.

We got it. Come on.


Dad!

Come on, Adcox. Is that a gas line?

Dad!


Brian McCaffrey, got some l.D.?

Hey, Willy. I'll give you l.D.

The littlest McCaffrey. How are you?

Hot off the presses, boys. Station assignments.

McCaffrey, station assignments.

Why don't you hold onto that for me?

Something wrong with my eyesight?

You trying this fireman thing again?

Quitting once wasn't good enough?

It's in the blood, Willy.

Willy, a beer! Is that right?

Hold on. I'm talking to the fire chief.

Let's look and see what else was in your blood.

I always looked forward to getting these.

You hold onto those?

I got Station 17!

'Son?!

"Aspen Snowmobile Tours. Brian McCaffrey, Assistant Director, Sales."

You know, for the kind of growth and challenge I need...

"Mobile Log Cabins."

That was in your blood six months?

The coffee sucked.

"Brian's Sound Spectrum, Direct Hi-End Stereo Sales."

Your own company. This was a big step.

I was ahead of my time, Willy.

What's the matter with you? Aren't you even curious?

Engine 115, right?

How'd you know? These are supposed to be sealed.

Lucky guess.

And a case of Scotch to the Captain at station assignments.

You crooked son of a bitch.


Make us proud, guys.

McCaffrey, that's my cousin's company. Come on!

Calm down, Mrs. Vaitkus.

Mrs. Vaitkus, please calm down.

I think it's a box or a 2-11.

Just give me one minute.

Hurry up. We can't miss this one.

Hi.

Hi, Jen.

I see your grandma...

Yeah, she still hates you.

You look great.

Thanks. How long you been in town?

Four months.

Really. But I...

I've been really busy at the academy.

I graduated today.

I can see that.

What have you been up to?

I work at City Hall, actually.

No kidding? That's great.

I don't know...

Maybe you and I could get together for a beer sometime.

A beer?

Beer? That's...

It's funny. You're acting like I just saw you last week when I haven't seen you in six years, Brian.

Son of a bitch.

Don't want you overheating, Brian.

I'll give you overheating!

Well, you've certainly matured.

It's nice to know we can still be friends.

Come on, Brian. We got a fire to go to.

Engine 17, your pressure's fine.

Get out of the way here, please.

Officer, don't just stand there doing nothing.

Where you going? I'm a fireman.

Need a second lead-out?

What?

What are you talking about? Get out of here!

This is the real shit. The real thing.


What do we got here?

A fireman's costume?

Where'd you rent it?

Thanks for coming to my graduation today, brother.

You're a real inspiration to me.

I'm sorry.

You're really ready to fight fire this time?

It just doesn't work on you.

I'll see you around.

Not likely.

Well, you see, that's where you're wrong already.

I talked to Chief Fitzgerald.

He decided you shouldn't be way on the other side of town where I'd never get to see you.

Starting tomorrow, you're going to be with the toughest company in the city.

17. My company.

One case of Scotch, Brian'? You're getting cheap in your old age.

You should learn not to box when the 17's on the job.


Inspector Rimgale, she's all yours.


Hey, Shadow.

You got a cause there?

Mice with matches.

Those glory boys will have to wait a few days on this one.

Sean?

Hey, buddy, what's going on?

It's Uncle Brian.

You'll remember this.

Spinach?

We don't need no stinking spinach.

Mum!

What's wrong? Come here, it's okay.

Hello? Yeah!

God, I'd about written you off.

What's going on?

Can I come in for a second?

Sure.

How you doing? Okay.

Good to see you.

So that's Sean? He's a little giant now.

You'd be surprised what a few years can do to a kid.

Remember your Uncle Brian?

No.

You don't remember him?

Hey, Sean man.

Where's your daddy today?

Stephen's not staying here anymore.

He moved out last April.

I'm sorry, Helen.

You guys should try picking up the phone once in a while.


I talked to Helen.

I thought Dad's boat was finally retired to the old family graveyard.

Don't you worry about falling out of this thing?

I gotta tell you, I love what you've done with the place.

It's coming along.

You want a beer?

Why not?

You been ripping off fire stations again?

Just some old stuff Adcox gave me, the department was gonna throw out anyway.

It's good enough for this tub.

What is this? "Iron Butterfly? Cream?"

This isn't an actual operating eight-track!

What do you want, Brian?

What are you doing here?

I wanna know why you messed with my station assignment.

Does this really have to be one of those big brother, little brother, "you broke my G. I. Joe and I'm still pissed" games?

How do you do it?

How do you manage to keep coming up with new and amazing ways to fuck up?

That Scotch bullshit?

Am I really supposed to believe you came home because you missed the family biz? You were bankrupt.

Scary thing is you probably could've got away with it for a while.

Hang back a little at the fires.

You know the drill.

The only problem is, in this job there's just no place to hide.

It's not like having a bad day selling log cabins.

You have a bad day here, somebody dies.

And that's just not fucking good enough.

You know something?

I must've told myself a million times I didn't even want to be a damn fireman.

I know I quit the academy before.

I know how you must've felt.

You do?

You know how I felt?

I gotta do this, Stephen.

I need to know.

I think you're going to find out.

Try not to be late tomorrow.


Give me a break.

Shit.

Come on, damn it.

Shit!

My car wouldn't start.

What are you doing, man?

Attaboy!

Damn!

Come on, man, you can make it.

Baby McCaffrey, how you doing?

How you doing, John?

Axe, you know this rug rat?

Know him? I practically raised him.

He never calls. He never writes.

I'm Brian.

I'm sorry.

All right! Garment factory.

Shake and bake. I think we got a barbecue.

Got yourself a hot one first time out.

This is gonna taste like shit.

All right, let's go!

Shit!

I hate it when we gotta go look for it.

There's people up there! Hurry!

Call in a box. We're gonna need some back-up.

Brian, inch-and-a-half.

Get the high-rise jet.

These moments do try me.

Be gentle now, Axe.

Holy shit!

Coming through.

Probie, how about it?

You ready? Yeah!

You're doing it wrong.

All right, it's tight. Stay beside me. I mean, right beside me.

Come on, man. Kick it in.

Get down!

Show time!

Clear!

Got it!


Let's take it from the side.

No, let's hit this bitch head-on!

It's gonna flash on us. We gotta back out!

She'll steam on us a little, but she won't flash. Go high in the ceiling.

Here comes your water.

Here it comes!

Come on, honey, steam us.

I knew you were a pussy!

All right, let's go for the throat!

Nightingale! Save your air!

Pull down that wall. Here.

Got it.

We gotta ventilate this heat.

Hook us up to a standpipe. Come on, hustle.

Shit!

It's in the walls.

How about it, probie?

Coming!

Come on. We're going to lose this.

Shit!

Christ! Charge it.

Otis, is it...

It's jumping floors.

Where's the second company?

Sorry, John Wayne time. You're on your own, boss.

No back-up.

Shit!

Dig in.

Dig in!

Come on!

What the hell's going on? What's happening?

Slow down, it's jumping floors to us.

Put your mask on. It's gonna be the real deal.

Down!

Cover up, Lieutenant!

Jesus Christ!

I'm burning up!

Put him out!

Pull!

All right. Go get it.

Hey!

Sorry, kid. I thought you were dead.

We got it.

Let's go.

Man down!

Look out.

I'm going.

You go, we go.

Come on!

Pull!

Let's go!

The chief thinks we got one left behind downstairs, a civilian.

Axe!

Take“.

Down to two probies, perfect!

Take Tim and do a search!

Let's go, kid!

Go. Stay With him.

Let's move it, Brian. Stay on this line.

You son of a bitch!

More line.

Help!

Stephen, over here. Someone's over here.

Help!

Where's my brother?

I don't know. I ain't seen him, Bull.

Is anybody in here?


Oh, my God. I got one.

I got one.

I got one.

Somebody, give me a hand.

Is she going to be all right?

I'm afraid you're a little too late with this one.

Sorry to hear about the mannequin.

I heard you two were close.


You all right? You didn't get burned, did you?

I'm a little busy right now.

You've got an awful short memory for direct orders.

I told you to stay beside me.

I heard somebody call.

And what's that shit with the standpipe?

The cap was stuck!

I told you to stay right be-fucking-side me, Brian!

I was doing it. I was up there doing it.

You don't know what I did.

What you did was drop the ball, probie.

You split the team up.

Get that part right.

You know what?


Let me get one of those.

Here you go.

I don't know, Axe. I don't know.

That Stephen.

What goes through that guy's head?

Never wears his mask.

Making us take it on in the first room like that.

This shit's happening too often.

Could've flashed. Should've flashed.

But it didn't.

Stevie knows.

The guy's lucky.

Alderman.

Inspector Rimgale.

I need to get in that trunk.

Excuse me.

Thanks.

Pretty fancy shoes you're wearing for a fire scene.

Guess you haven't been to many fires.

We still haven't gotten a report from you on Alan Seagrave's death.

You'll get that answer as soon as I do.

A man gets stuffed through the windshield of his own car.

Is that an accident or arson?

People are asking. I gotta tell them something.

Let's get to the point.

We get the feeling that your office is dragging out this case, to embarrass the Alderman because of his fire department cutbacks.

I have an uncomplicated job. To decide if a fire is arson or not.

If so, to catch the son of a bitch doing it.

If my investigative methods happen to muck up the campaign of certain mayor wannabes, I gotta tell you, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

Just give me the report as soon as it's ready.

You'll have it.

Thank you.

He better not make any rights on reds in my district. Hi, how are you?

Hey, Swayzak?

You missed it, buddy.

Get over there. Keep them busy.

You should've been there. It was fucking great.

I mean it. We almost lost a whole goddamn company for you.

Since you shut down 33, there's no fucking backup.

We appreciate it. I don't know about the rest, but you got my vote for mayor.

If you have a problem, why don't you help us? Why not work with the task force?

Task Force?

Three guys have died because of cuts made by your task force!

Know that little glow that's starting to blink in your eye?

That's your career dissipation light. It just went into overtime.

If anybody's lights are about to go out, believe me, they're yours.

Thanks a lot, fellas. You did a great job today, by the way.

Alderman, will this affect your task force findings?

So this is that big city job you were talking about.

Yeah. Welcome home, Brian.

Where does he buy his shoes? Did you check them out?

They're like fucking butter.

Do you have to do that?

Could you believe that fire? First day.

There we were, Adcox and me, pulling that lady right out of the fire's fucking throat.

We saved a life.

I love it here. Fighting 17th. Goddamn.

Stephen's amazing.

You see how he took that fire'? By the balls.

I'm gonna be that good someday.

You watch. You'll see.

You know what Stephen said to me?

Right when the shit was coming hard, he said, "You never know till the moment the fire stares you down, "if you're just gonna do this job..."

"Or be great at it," right?

He using that line of shit on you now?

You think he made that little gem up?

My old man used to use that line every other day.

It's no line, man.

That's no line.

Hey, kid, we aren't waiting!

Not that way!

What's going on?

Come on. Let's go!

It's lunch, probies. Let's get started.

A couple of crows!

...in Itasca. That money will probably end up coming from...

This better be good.

Or we feed you to The Thing.

You got something against Dalmatians?

Accident or murder? That's the question arson investigators are struggling with after a freak explosion known by firefighters as a backdraft...

Pengelly, you're on TV.

I saw you, too.

Look, that's me.

...windshield of his car. He has been identified as Alan Seagrave, a prominent Chicago CPA.

Despite pressure from the city council, fire officials refuse to speculate on the cause saying only that their investigation is continuing.

Gentlemen, gentlemen.

As 17th's official toastmaster...

And bullshitter.

Thank you, Santos.

Did I mention you were cut out of my will?

I think it appropriate that we recognize the two asswipes, probationary firemen, among us today, who were officially baptized into the world of old man fire.

First, to Tim.

Despite the fact that he was born with a dull expression and a really hideous pair of ears, he not only took on the beast, but pulled from its clutches, assisted by a more famous and brilliant firefighter, me, a kicking and screaming civilian who'll probably sue us for breaking her fingernails.

And to Brian...

Help me, Santos.

Whose contribution was both more beautiful and less likely to sue us.

When I heard that both McCaffrey brothers were being assigned here at this station at the same time, my heart was filled with a sudden desire to transfer.

So raise a glass, lads.

To funny-looking Tim and the McCaffrey brothers who despite the fact they've gotten on each other's nerves for years have managed with great effort to still be pissed off at each other.

Gentlemen.

Fuck you!


Thanks for the ride.

Brian, I'll see you tonight?

Yeah, I'll see you tonight.

I've known Jack Fitzgerald since he was a candidate.

They had fire engines then?

Get that man's name.

And I gotta tell you, he was just as ugly then.

Just kidding, Jack.

Can I have a beer, please?

Hey.

How you doing?

Home of the real firemen.

Enough of us stroking each other.

Here's the man we're here to honor, Chief Jack Fitzgerald.

I know I speak for everybody here.

It's about goddamn time you retired and made a promotion for somebody else.

I think I better change the view.

I couldn't have wished for a better life. Thank you.

I don't believe this shit.

Pretty boy, get a load of this.

Wait till you listen to this shit.

"Probationary fireman, Brian McCaffrey, "on his first fire, showed the bravery

"and courage of a veteran firefighter

"when he risked life and limb to double-check a burning floor, alone.

"Emerging victoriously with Anna Rodriguez, "a seamstress for the North Shore clothing company."

Axe, get a load of this shit!

"McCaffrey first gained prominence as the subject

"of a 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo

"taken at the scene of his father's death."

What are we gonna do about this?

17, what's going on?

I think that it's union bylaw that if you get your picture in the paper, even if it's bullshit, you buy the whole company a drink.

I'm gonna have another double on the hero!

Give him a hand over here.

What's this?

Leave him alone.

Good job.

Brian McCaffrey?

This is my boss, Alderman Swayzak. He wanted to meet you.

You should be proud of saving that woman's life. That was a hell of a job.

Don't believe everything you read.

Don't be so modest, Brian.

See that?

That's a mannequin.

Look, Brian.

Let me just get down to it.

I've been checking you out. Jennifer can't say enough about you.

What it is... I need your help.

I'm gonna offer you a job.

I've already got a job.

This job it's still with the fire department.

One of your best investigators, Don Rimgale, is working on a tough case.

He needs an extra pair of hands.

If that name is gonna come from my office, I want it to be you.

Why is that?

I want someone from a real traditional firefighting clan.

We got all kinds of traditions, like dying young. Thanks anyway.

Took you all of 30 seconds to blow that off.

Brian, I know it's not my place to say this, but I think you're passing on a great opportunity.

You're smarter than that.

I'm trying to do something here. Can't you see that?

I'm trying to be a fireman. Not some kind of poster boy for Swayzak.

There's gotta be at least 500 other smoke eaters here that do that shit for real every day.

Tell Swayzak to talk to one of them.


Bull, slow down.

Helen, can I talk to you for a minute?

What about?

It's about Sean.

Right here, right now, you wanna talk about Sean?

How you doing, Stephen?

Hey, Jackson.

You don't have to stop dancing.

It's only our son, for Christ's sake.

You don't have to remind me.

I'm the one taking care of him.

What about your dumb ass brother?

Wait a second.

Saving a mannequin. How fucking stupid can a guy get?

You got anything else you want to say about my brother?

God damn you, McCaffrey!

Take it outside.

Knock it off.

I'll kick his ass!

I'm bleeding.

Knock it off.

Hey, I'm fine.

You never know when to quit, do you?

Do you ever wonder why you're stuck a fucking lieutenant for life?

No.

Let's get a drink.

You Okay?

I'm all right.

Get him out of here!

I just wanna get a drink.

You don't need a drink, you need to get the hell out of here. Let's go.

The whole family's crazy.

That was great. You nailed him.

He's all right. He said something.

What'd he say?

I don't remember.

I can walk by myself.

I hurt my ankle.

Don't stand there and laugh at me. Get me up.

Photographer.

Think I can get on the cover of Life Magazine?

Is Axe a great guy?

He doesn't know shit about what I want.

I've got news for everybody. I'm not my old man.

A fire won't get me, Brian. I know more than he did.

I know more about fire than all of them.

Time for bed, Sugar Ray.

Let me get those for you.

Get out of my way. I can get my shoes off.

You're such a pain in the ass.

You always were.

What are you talking about? I saved your ass tonight.

Why don't they trust me anymore, Brian?

The guys just don't trust me anymore.

This boat could be great, don't you think?

Maybe I'll just,

just take it out on weekends.

Sean and me.

We could just float.


Get it on your shoulder, probie. It's not a football.


You're not breaking any records, Brian.

Get it on your shoulder, like this!

Come on, Stephen!

Kick that old man's ass.

Run, damn you.

I'm coming.

Come on, Bull.


Oh, shit.

Are you okay?

Yeah.

"Run, damn you."

Okay, roll the hose.

Are you kidding? By myself?

You heard me.

What about Tim?

What about Tim?

For Christ's sake, next time I'll let you win.

You got a problem with drilling, probie? Is that it?

No. I don't have a problem with drilling.

But let's just have one drill.

Not one for the company and one for me.

Roll the hose now.

I'm not gonna quit. You hear me?

I'm not gonna quit.

My baby is still up there. Please, somebody.

How many men you got in there?

My baby-

Hold on, Steve. Don't go in there.

Wait for the hose line.

Brian!

Don't take that kind of shit from it.

Don't let it know you're scared.

Stephen! Look out!

We gotta wait for a hose team.

No time.

Come on!

You ready?

We gotta wait for a hose team.

Jump when I say. It won't get us.

Hold your breath.

Stephen!


You kicked ass.

Way to go, Bull.

Thanks.

That was pretty crazy.

I waited. I would've waited.

Don't worry about it.

But you did it.

You did it all the way. You were really a hero.

It's not about being a hero.

I went in because there was a kid up there.

I do what I do because that's my way. And it was Dad's way.

Maybe it's not everybody's way.

Dad's way?

Did he tell you that in a séance?

Fine.

You said you needed to know something.

What did you learn today?

What if there had been another kid up there?

I don't know.

What do you think, Brian? Time to move on?

You're right.

You win.

You're the best.

Hey, Brian.

Brian.

Listen, Jen.

I've been thinking about what you said the other night.

If the offer's still on the table, I'd like to talk about it.

Great!

That's great, really great news.

The Alderman will be thrilled that you're working with us.

Marty's a good man, Brian.

Yeah.


Stop me if I got this wrong.

The fire's almost out, you're upstairs on the unburned floor, checking for heat. Correct?

Yes, sir.

Messages for you.

You've been told by your battalion chief, your captain, and by me not to do nothing, right?

Do nothing until ordered. That's correct?

The itch starts. The glory boy flash starts.

"I'm a hero. Heroes don't just stand around."

That's what it was?

Yes, sir.

So you punched out a window for ventilation.

Before or after you knew you were standing in a lake of gasoline?

Before or after you noticed you were standing in a lake of gasoline, you idiot?

Before, sir.

You could have burned or killed half that company.

Also, you wrecked the evidence that I use to prove it's arson.

You know how hard it is to determine the cause of these fires.

Go home and you think about that.

I'll have to call him back.

Brian McCaffrey, your new assistant.

Dennis' kid. Why don't you go find a corner to hide in?

I'll get to you later. I don't wanna deal with you now.

Great.


You still standing there?

I think we should get something straight.

I was assigned to this office by the city.

I know who you were assigned by.

I knew your father, too. He was a hell of a fireman.

He had a hell of a reputation.

It don't cut slack here as far as I'm concerned.

Swayzak sends you here, fine.

I got nothing to say about that.

Swayzak or no, you work for me now.

You step out of line, make one false move, you're out of here.

Don't think you're the first.

Let's go. Where we going?

Pest control.

Shadow, Shadow.

Hi, Shadow.

Hi, Ronald. How you doing? Staying comfortable?

I didn't think you would make it.

I wouldn't miss this.

Who's that?

He works for me.

Is he a fireman? I like firemen.

You like everybody.

Brian McCaffrey. Sure... No, that's Stephen.

He's the little one with the hat.

What a treat!

Do I know you?

Your dad did.

Who is this guy?

Put it away.

Come on, Shadow. He lost his dad to the animal and you didn't even tell him who he was coming to see?

Let me tell you about Ronald. He likes telephones.

He tapes matches to the bell strikers and then wrap it in cotton with gasoline.

You had a whole little thing going there, didn't you?

And when you got bored? What did you do?

He started making calls.

Never proved.

Tell him about us down on State Street.

Nobody cares about that one.

It was your basic warehouse torch I was doing for the owner.

They are a cakewalk.

I just lost my concentration and my animal turned on me.

Got the whole place going like hell.

My hair was on fire, my hands.

Everything. I was dead.

Suddenly I was alive. I was pulled out by my hero, my Shadow here.

Except, he didn't see this big tub of phosphorous.

Explosion lit him up so bright, left his shadow on the wall.

Still shy about rolling up your sleeves?

Show him your stomach.

The funny thing about firemen, night and day, they're always firemen.

Ronald Bartel.

The parole board has received Mr. Bartel's fitness report.

He is I.D. 44.

Endorsement from his section warden. Dr. Norris?

As supervising psychiatrist, I would describe Mr. Bartel's progress as remarkable.

Taking into account his disability and the six years he's already served, I recommend a parole.

Mr. Bartel.

Do you regret your crimes?

Yes.

And I'm aware of the pain that I have caused.

If released, will you commit these crimes again?

No, I won't.

Do you consider yourself ready for society?

Yes, I do.

You're ready, all right.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Shadow. Remember this?

Remember this, Ronald?

Remember who it belonged to?

What did you do to that little girl?

It's not fair, Shadow.

What did you do to that little girl?

I burned her.

You burned her.

What do you do to old ladies?

Burn them.

And what about the world?

What would you like to do with the whole world?

Burn it all.

See you next year.


We figured the body's the owner, some guy named Cosgrove.

Weird blast.

Like that other guy, the one through the car windshield.

Explosion blew out the flame before the first engine even got here.

Good for us. Not too good for him.

Bring the toolbox.

Tim, get the hot spots.

You in the cheap seats, watch it.

Let's go.

McCaffrey, need a special invitation?

Charge the line, Axe.

What do you want me to do with this?

We got heavy smoke stains observed in entry room.

Smoke demarcation line is very low.

Fire never got hot enough here to cook the soot off.

Come on, you sneaky little son of a bitch.

Tell me where you came from.

Point me where you started. Come on.

Burn indicators distended toward northern wall.

Less soot here, more heat.

Lack of discoloration in shattered glass indicates slow burn before explosion.

There's some little dead rat critters here.

Fire originated in this room. Took its time.

Hung out.

The air ran out. It couldn't breathe.

It was snuffed. But it wasn't dead.

The trapped heat laid low waiting for someone to give it one big gulp of air.

Another backdraft.

This is our point of origin. Let me have a crowbar.

No sign of accelerants.

If it's arson, somebody figured a new way to hide it.

We got Alan Seagrave, and Donald Cosgrove.

Both deaths due to close encounters with stationary objects.

We have an office door for Cosgrove and an '87 Porsche for Seagrave.

No nonrelevant traumas.

No significant blood toxicology.

Attitude of both trajectories are consistent with explosion.

They ran the residue you scraped from both front doors.

It's a combination of plumber's putty and rayophene gum.

It burns almost completely away when you light it.

So it was on both doors. Yeah.

Something else I want to show you. You'll have to help me.

Why don't you come over and help us?

I don't think so. Not in my contract.

I just rewrote your contract. Come on over and help us.

We're gonna have to lift him.

Great.

He's not gonna sell you insurance. Just lift him up.

Hold on.

You see that patch of shirt right there?

We wondered about the discoloration.

I scraped a piece off and ran a spectro on it.

On a lucky shot, they picked up traces of something.

What was it?

Tryohtichlorate. Nobody around here ever heard of it.

Trychtichlorate. It eats magnesium.

An absorption catalyst used in toxic waste accidents.

They stopped making it a couple of years ago.

We figured it got in his clothes in a gas state from the fire.

What was it doing in the fire?

That's your job.

What are you doing here?

Just fixing my roof.

You've gotta stop just showing up on the roof like this.

I wanted to, not exactly, apologize for the other night, especially since I don't remember much.

I just wanted to say, I don't know, something.

The great communicator.

What's going on, Stephen?

You only bang on the roof when you got something on your mind.

How's Brian doing?

He's out. Quit.

He just up and quit for no reason?

I don't care what you heard, Helen.

I treated him better than any other probie I ever had.

He probably hates my guts, but at least he finally took a look in the mirror.

Once again, Stephen's right and somebody else is wrong.

You always gotta be right.

That's such bullshit.

Why?

Because I'm the first to admit it when I'm wrong.

How often does that happen?

In a fire? Never.

He would have bought it, Helen.

I'm telling you, maybe not today, maybe not next year, but it would have happened. He's my brother.

I couldn't just...

You just couldn't live with that.

McCaffrey.

Take the top off.

Holy shit!

That's it.

Son of a bitch. This guy is different. He don't love fire.

Who? The killer.

He used magnesium to make it look like an accident.

I got it after we went to see Ronald.

Torchers want to fry the whole goddamn world.

But the fires that killed those guys never burned up that much.

The trychtichlorate hid the magnesium in the plug, but it burned slow.

And he made his burns backdrafts.

But he killed these guys.

He could have killed everybody there.

Backdraft blew out the flame. That's it. That's the reason.

What reason?

Why backdrafts.

Whoever fried Seagrave and Cosgrove went to a lot of trouble to make sure they died by fire, but also that the fire blew itself out.

That's why they used the putty in the doors.

What do we got? A torch with a conscience?

No. We got a stone killer trying to make a point.

You can make the call now. It's arson.

I'm not calling anyone yet.

You can't rush this. I've seen it happen before.

I wanna make sure this torch doesn't walk.

We're gonna wait.

Mr. McCaffrey.

Welcome aboard.

Nice boat you got here.

You mean mine?

Not yet. Glad to have you as part of the team.

Let's get a picture with Mr. McCaffrey and myself.

You look good. There you go.

Thanks. Hi.

Have fun now. Great night, isn't it?

Who is that?

Larry DeWaay.

Larry, how are you?


How's the job going?

Okay.

Is Rimgale getting any better?

Rimgale's Rimgale.

He's just doing his job.

He hasn't done anything.

At this rate, he won't declare it's arson before he retires.

Will you get me out of here? Otherwise I'll have to go pick her up.

This is one of the oldest fire stations in the city.

What do you think? It's homey.

The guys are sleeping upstairs.

You're gonna get me in trouble.

This is my office. Impressive?

Yes, it's very nice.

Lot of tradition locked up in this old house.

See those doors up there?

They lead to the hayloft when they had the old horse-drawn engines.

Lot different then.

But kind of the same, you know?

Do you miss it?

You seem like you do.

When I came back, I knew.

I knew that I really wanted to be a fireman.

Then Why'd you quit?

I should have said I wanted to be a good one.

So show me your fire truck.


Mask up, lads.

Where is it? I don't know.

There's alarms going off on three different floors.


How do we know if the floor's gonna be on fire'?

When the doors open, if it's hot don't get out.

We'll start on this side. I'll meet you down at the end.

Come on.

High-rise gigs give me the creeps.

We're early on this one again and it ain't even broke out yet.

We're one short with Brian gone.

Wait for the next-in engines.

Let's catch it before it breaks out.

You want to learn something?

Yeah, I do.

Axe, go with Pengelly. Take the other side.

Don't split us up. It ain't safe.

I haven't got time for this. Let's go to work.

Let me take the lead.

Do your job. They need a line over here.

Come on.

You're so very sly, but so am l.


She's hot and smoky but she's not rolling yet.

Shit!

Hello, 51. 51 to follow 17 in the truck.

11201 South Clark.

What time is it, anyway?

All right, take it.

Wait. Make sure you check it first.


Howdy, boys.

Here we go. Now get that mask back on.

Clear!

Stay here.

You check that door for heat, Tim?

Tim!

Watch out. I got him. Move off.

Put it out!

Stretcher!

Get the goddamn stretcher.

Through here.

Get that stretcher over here.

What the hell happened?

Tim! How did it happen?

Breathe, Tim.

You're all right.


Shadow. I got one here.

Christ.

Some guy named Holcomb.

Steve.

Steve, you all right?


How is he?

He's alive.

Is he gonna make it?

They're not saying.

He's in there.

I'm sorry. You can't come in now.

Please stay outside.

I should have been there.

None of us should have been there.

Don't tell me about the chance I'm taking.

You didn't wait for back-up.

You were wrong.

Part of your investigating? You had to do it.

You had to be myth man. Taking another fire bare handed instead of looking out for your probie.

He didn't listen.

He's a candidate, your responsibility.

He shouldn't have been there in the first place.

You burned him, Stephen.

Fuck you.

Don't you walk away from me.

Come on!

Easy, man.

You're just making things worse.

Forget about it.


Inspector.

Alderman.

Chinese sponge cake?

When will you catch this prick, Don?

Don?

Don't you have any leads?

No, Marty, I don't.

We haven't found any connection between the victims at all.

Jesus Christ. Open your eyes.

You got Seagrave, Cosgrove, and now Holcomb.

Put them together. It's a goddamn list.

I didn't know the name of that victim had been released.

Hey, John. Morning.

I'll do whatever you want me to do.

I want to help you nail the son of a bitch that burned Tim.

Show me how.

Thought old Marty was acting a little strange.

He's right. There's residue.

Holcomb is the third victim.

The backdraft was set up somewhere in there.

Fried Holcomb when he opened the inner door.

But the outer door held and it waited for Tim.

In a word, Brian, what is this job all about?

Fire.

It's a living thing.

It breathes, it eats

and it hates.

The only way to beat it is to think like it.

To know this flame will spread this way across the door and up across the ceiling.

Not because of the physics of flammable liquids, but because it wants to.

Some guys on this job, fire owns them.

Makes them fight it on its level.

But the only way to truly kill it is to love it a little, just like Ronald.


I heard your friend's gonna be okay.

Thanks.

Jen, we checked and your boss was partners, with all three murder victims in a company called Lakeside Dynamics.

He's keeping that a secret. I wanna know why.

I don't know anything about that.

You might be able to find out.

Get me his files.

Do you know what you're asking me to do?

Yeah.

Four years ago I was punching a cash register.

Two years ago, Swayzak didn't even know my name.

I was bringing the guy coffee.

I practically run that office now.

And Marty, he believes in me.

I just don't...

You're asking me to throw that all away.

Your boss is a liar.


Stephen?

I'm sorry.

I just couldn't sleep.

What's wrong?

It used to be real clear.

When I was a kid.

What meant most to me about this job was no ifs.

Somebody called the fire department, we came.

We just showed up.

They just don't know how much I love them.

You don't leave people hanging.

It holds everything up, doesn't it?

Loyalty.

I don't get it.

"Till death do us part." Isn't that what you heard, Helen?

You go, we go. It's all the same piece of shit without that, isn't it?

It's the end of everything.

I'm sorry I came.

There's just nobody I can talk to.

I really miss you.


You sure you want to put grape jelly in the eggs?

It's part of my formula. It's an experiment.

An experiment?

I want to do that.

Can you do it?

That's good.

I'll put that in the formula.

What about the shells? You gonna leave the shells?

They're part of the formula?

I guess you know what you're doing.

Mum!

I didn't know you'd be up so early.

Go back to bed. We're making you breakfast in bed.

Can I talk to you a minute?

Yeah.

You keep going there. You're doing good.

He knows what he's doing.

He told me he likes those piano lessons you got him taking.

I don't want to confuse him.

I knew who you were when we got married.

I knew how you did things.

And...

I mean, you haven't...

I just can't anymore.

I just... You know...

I gotta worry about Sean.

I mean, you're the best.

You really are.

But the chances that you take just...

You scare me now.

Sean.

Listen, I...

I blew it.

I forgot that I gotta work this morning.

That's all right. We'll just do it again next Saturday.

Mom's crying.

The latest polls came in.

Marty?

Jesus Christ, Marty.

What's going on?

We have a city planners meeting in 15 minutes.

You've gotta level with me.

Is there something about these deaths you're not telling me'?

No.


What's this?

Just take it.

Rimgale's gonna wanna talk to Swayzak about this.

I'm sorry.

That's a dumb thing to say.

You're right.

Goodbye, Brian.

What do you do with this thing?

What do you mean? I drove it.

This is a copy of Swayzak's report we know is bullshit, but the numbers were airtight.

This file she gave you proves it's phoney.

I checked on the firm that recommended the cuts to the task force.

They've done exactly one job, a manpower study.

I checked further. It's not even a company.

No employees, nothing.

Just a P.O. box.

I wonder who wrote that report.

Someone who can work numbers.

Exactly.

Like a bunch of dead financial wizards.

Seagrave, Holcomb, Cosgrove...

And Swayzak.

Why did he go through this trouble to cut firehouses?

Swayzak converts them into community centers.

That's sweet.

Remember Lakeside Dynamics?

They get all the expensive construction work.

I'm telling you, this is a total scam.

These guys were making a ton of money.

It's time we had a little talk with Mr. Swayzak. Let's go.


Mr. Swayzak?

Gas. Check in there.


Come on!

Come on!


Hey, kid.

I think I got a little problem here.

Alderman, is it true that you were rescued by the fire department's arson team?

That's quite a bunch of guys.

I'm so goddamn helpless here.

I can't do a fucking thing.

What do you want me to do?

I've been lying here.

I've been thinking for hours. Thinking and thinking.

We're close.

But we're not looking in the right place.

So, you've come to pick Ronald's brains because nobody knows the animal like Ronald.

It must've looked like it was going to be a medium deal, didn't it? Then your father bought it.

What?

Did you watch him when he made that ballsy jump and saved...

I didn't come to talk about my father.

I sent away for a copy of that Life magazine with your picture on the cover.

It's a collectible.

Who's doing this?

Wrong question.

Who isn't?

It isn't a spark. There isn't enough damage, so it's no fun.

It isn't an insurance pro because there isn't any profit.

Who does that leave us with?

What's his tool?

How does he do it? How does he talk to the fire'? Come on.

The outlets.

No.

That's a probie. That's beneath you, Brian.

Trychtichlorate.

Very good.

You still haven't put it together?

I have.

Then who?

You wanna know who?

I wanna know if this kid really wanted to be just like his dad.

Did he?

Okay.

I'm out of here.

All right! I wanted to be him, okay?

I wanted to be him more than anything.

You loved him.

Yeah.

You watched him dance with the animal. You saw your dad burn.

Fuck you! Who the hell's doing this?

Did it look at you?

Did the fire look at you?

It did.

Our worlds aren't that far apart, are they?

Whoever did this really knows the animal well.

They know him real well but they won't let him loose.

They won't let him have fun so they don't love him.

Who doesn't love fire and is around trychtichlorate all day long?

Oh, my God!

That wasn't such a long walk after all, was it?

God damn it, Stephen.

What's going on?

I just came by to see how you were doing.

How am I doing?

I'm selling Dad's boat.

A guy is coming by in a few minutes to take a look at it.

What are you gonna do?

Where you going?

I didn't say I was going anywhere.

Look, I gotta get back.

There's something I'm supposed to do.

What?

What do you gotta do?

Look at you.

Look at your face. All the things you must be thinking.

You really hate my guts, don't you?

You know something? That's all right.

We should talk...

You don't like me.

Because of the way I raised you?

Dad was gone. What was I supposed to do?

You tell me. What was I supposed to do?

It's okay, Stephen.

I tried. I wanted so many things for you that I couldn't even hope for.

Because after that, I had no choices.

I'm not your father.

You got somewhere to go, go.

People change.

Sometimes right when you're looking at them.

What's going on with you?

I don't know.

Do you?

I gotta go.


Attention, all units responding.

This is a hazardous material response at a chemical plant.

Has Stephen gotten back yet?

He just pulled up.

Is it Adcox?

How do you know?

I didn't.

I didn't until you came looking for chemicals, for me. What were they doing there?

Axe gave them to me.

We gotta roll!

I'll be there in a minute.

I gotta go to Rimgale with this.

They're pulling a box.

I'll be there!

I'm his lieutenant.

I'll handle it.

Stephen?

Are you a part of this?

No.

You're sure?

That's the only thing I am sure of anymore.

Bull, we need you.

Jesus Christ!

Shit!


Get out of the way!

You all right, Peng?

You Okay?

Help me out.

Where's 17?

I don't know.

Stephen!

Where's 17?

17's on the roof.

Mask up. We got a chemical fire.


We're pulling the plug. Everybody off the roof!

Jesus Christ, Axe.

You don't understand.

My cousin used to work at Swayzak's office.

She saw the files. She saw what he did.

You set me up with those chemicals.

Let me explain.

You back off!

Somebody had to stop these pricks.

Axe. Please listen to me.

You burned people!

You're a fireman.

When Sally showed me Swayzak's files...

I should've let you in on it.

On murder?

Those assholes were closing firehouses, getting our friends killed for money.

I did it for the department!

Did you do it for Tim?

That was an accident.

Did you start that fire?

Why'd you have to go in there so fucking early?

That's why you wanted me to wait.

Let me finish Swayzak!

No. It's over.

Your dad would puke if he saw you now.

What would he say about you?

Your dad died saving my life, and these people were killing firemen for money.

Swayzak.

He killed our friends for money.

What the fuck would you do?

You're his lieutenant. You've gotta handle this.

It's going.

Get to the side. It's gonna go.


17! Somebody! I'm in the elevator shaft.

Help me!

Help, somebody!

17, help!

Brian!

Stephen.

I'm burning up in here!

You all right?

Yeah. You all right?

Come on. We gotta go get him.

We gotta get out of here. The whole place is going up.

Look out! This way.

Wait a minute. Brian!

Jesus!


I just couldn't let it go, Bull.


I got you.


Let me go, Bull.

You go, we go.

Stephen!

No!


Don't move.

Don't move, damn it!

What? Just lie down.

Shit!

Pengelly, up here!

Did you hear somebody?

Pengelly, up here.

Where's he at?

I got him over there.

PengeHy!

We're gonna get you out of here. Lay down, don't move.

Get going!

Pengelly, I lost the line.

I'm going for the hose.


Brian!

Go!


Come on.

Look at him.

That's my brother, God damn it.

How is he? Is he okay?

Let's move it. Let's go.

Up With him!

He's gonna make it.

I gotta get this collar on. Help us out.

I don't want it.

Brian?

Don't tell them about Adcox.

It'll hurt the department.

I won't.

Monitor on.

I'm sorry. I thought...

90 over 60.

I'm sorry lever thought you...

I know.

I beat it.

Blood pressure: 80 over 60.

The fire never got me.

You're gonna be all right, you hear me? Hang in there.

You'll make it!

Lidocaine, now!

Will he be all right?

He's spiking!

Who's your brother, Brian?

You are, Stephen.

Lidocaine in.

I'm tired of hearing the sirens.

Turn the siren off, Brian.

Turn the siren off.

You're gonna be all right.

Hang in, you'll make it. Let's go. Move this thing.

Don't you die on me now. You hear me?

Hang in there. We're almost there.

It's not your time now. I need you.

You're gonna make it.

Clear!

Starting compression. One, two, three, four, five.

One, two, three, four, five.


In the Chicago Fire Department, the alarm code 3-3-5 signifies that the company has returned home to quarters.

We will now ring out that code to welcome home Firefighter John Adcox and Lieutenant Stephen McCaffrey.


Honor guard, hand salute!

Honor guard, dismissed!


Can we help you?

Police. We have a subpoena for Alderman Swayzak.

Alderman Swayzak, how are you doing?

This won't take long.

I'm in a press conference.

The police want to know why you secretly paid Cosgrove, Holcomb, and Seagrave to create a phoney manpower study.

Ask him who made money off firemen dying.

See that glow flashing in your eye?

That's your career dissipation light.

It just went into high gear.

My aides will look into it. Thank you.

Mr. Alderman has no further comment. This conference is over.


1718 West Maplewood.

Got it, Cap?

Into the truck. Code 32.

Nightingale!


We're gonna be damn busy.

Salsa!


You're doing it wrong.

Thanks.

All right.