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The Cliché Firehouse Moment That Didn't Make The Final Cut On Chicago Fire

For longtime fans of any show, one thing that's fun to do is go back and watch the very pilot episode of your favorite series. If you're a true fan, more than likely you're going to spot a wide range of differences between that initial installment and the new episodes you've grown accustomed to seeing today. From set changes to completely different actors playing important roles, a pilot episode could seem like a practice run before producers eventually got to the real thing.

The reason for this is that almost always, the pilot episode is filmed on its own, separate from the chapters that follow. Most series are required to produce this first episode for networks and test audiences to determine whether or not it's worth pushing forward to continue the story. If it tests well and the series is ordered, there is usually a good amount of time that has gone by between episode one and episode two. In between that time, producers and writers have had opportunities to change or enhance specific details of the show before moving forward. 

For fans of "Chicago Fire," there was a specific feature of the fire station used in the pilot episode that was very obviously eliminated in Episode 2. This common firehouse cliché, if it had remained, would have thrown off the show's entire continuity.

One specific firehouse staple was removed after the first episode

NBC's "Chicago Fire" has been delivering quality, heart-pumping, drama since 2012. During its more than a decade of seasons, the show has been authentically filmed in Chicago. According to The Chicago Sun-Times, the same fire station has been used for every exterior shot of the series. The majority of the scenes happening inside the station are filmed at Cinespace, a production studio in Chicago.

The station you see from the outside on TV is actually a real working firehouse called Engine 18, which operates in Chicago's West Side. In fact, you can visit the "Chicago Fire" firehouse in real life. However, it's the choice of this specific firehouse that caused a detail in the pilot episode of "Chicago Fire" to be changed before the second episode was released. In the pilot, there is a moment when a character slides down a fire pole. The problem is that the presence of the pole makes no sense when considered in the context of Engine 18.

During an interview at the 2016 Monte-Carlo Television Festival, "Chicago Fire" stars Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer talked about the cliché fire pole that was used in the very first episode. "Well, we tried to have a pole," recalled Spencer. "We had [Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett)] slide down a pole. In our firehouse, there's not a second story, it's a modern firehouse." If there were ever a good excuse to eliminate a physical cliché from your series, that would be it.