Reality struck early Wednesday afternoon during the making of the NBC series “Chicago Fire,” leading to a halt in production.
What devolved into chaos began at the A.A. Rayner & Sons Funeral Homes in Chicago where the show was filming an episode, according to Fox News.
Charles Childs Jr., director of the funeral home, told Fox the actors were practicing putting out a real fire in preparation to shoot a scene when an actual blaze was reported just nearby.
“First, a fire broke out in the adjacent block down on 1500 West Madison. Then, the Chicago Fire Department responded to that, and while Chicago Fire Department responded, ‘Chicago Fire’ television stars and crew were just one block away so people saw the actors and wanted to know why they weren’t responding to the real fire,” he said.
Childs said the set turned “chaotic” as neighbors were angered that what they assumed to be firefighters ignoring a fire call down the street.
But the chaos did not end there.
At about 1:45 p.m. an “unknown offender, armed with a handgun shot at a group of people standing in the 5900 block of W. Madison Street,” the Chicago Police Department sad. The shooter fled in a dark-colored SUV, police said.
Chicago Fire Temporarily Halts Production After Shots Fired Near Set https://t.co/jTfjtMtis7
— People (@people) September 15, 2022
Childs summed up the bizarre situation to Fox like this: “It was one of those days. You couldn’t have written this in a novel.”
“At the funeral home, it was a make-believe fire, and the actors were just doing their jobs,” he told the network. “So while all of this was going on, some idiot used a firearm and shoots at people. We don’t know who was being targeted. We don’t know who the assailant was.
“It was chaotic because all these activities were going on at the same time. Why would somebody do that? There was a police presence. There were security guards present. It was just an unbelievable situation.”
Variety said no one in the cast or crew was hurt but it was uncertain when filming would resume.
Childs estimated about 70 people were in the area at the time of the shooting.
“Somebody could have been killed, shot accidentally,” he told Fox. “We just don’t know what was going through this person’s mind. We don’t understand it.”
Others included two involving the FX drama “Justified: City Primeval.”
Hello everyone. The incident today near the Chicago Fire set is just one in a long line of incidents this year that have impacted shows that film here. The most serious was the shooting on the Justified set, while bullets also hit near the Chicago Med part of the studio..
— Filming in Chicago (@filming_chicago) September 14, 2022
In July, two cars with occupants exchanging gunfire crashed through barricades surrounding work on an episode of “Justified: City Primeval,” according to THR. Three weeks later, in a separate location, “an incendiary device” was thrown toward the set where an episode was being made, the newspaper reported.
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