Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

30 Best Chicago Fire Episodes Ranked

If you're producer Dick Wolf and you've already conquered the world of police and law in New York City with the "Law & Order" franchise, what do you do next? Head to the Windy City, and bring to life a series set in another civil service, of course. 

Launching in 2012, Wolf served as executive producer for "Chicago Fire," kicking off his second sprawling television franchise, which would later become known as "One Chicago." Created by the writing team of Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the scribes behind James Mangold's "3:10 To Yuma," the series would quickly spawn multiple spin-offs, including "Chicago P.D.," "Chicago Med," and "Chicago Justice." 

Heavy on heart, high on drama, and filled with explosive action, "Chicago Fire" has been thrilling viewers for a decade and doesn't seem to be slowing down. With over 200 episodes and counting, it's hard to find the best, but we've done our homework and ranked its top 30. 

30. A Real Wake Up Call

"A Real Wake Up Call" begins with Grant and Stella getting into an argument that escalates to a violent confrontation behind Molly's Bar. Thankfully, Stella's ex-boyfriend, Severide, comes to her rescue and subdues him, cutting his throat and sending him to the hospital. Instead of backing the attempted murder charge, Stella has her ex-boyfriend held for psychiatric evaluation instead, which doesn't sit well with some. 

Meanwhile, Casey and Gabby struggle to find a babysitter, and the company isn't happy that Jimmy is back on the truck, as some still can't get over what happened with Boden in "Where the Collapse Started." However, the episode would be best remembered for its last call, as a recurring character says goodbye when one firehouse member defies his commander's orders in an attempt to save the life of a wounded truck driver.

29. That Day

"That Day" is a crossover episode, guest-starring characters from both "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med." First, Sylvia and Detective Antonio Dawson finally take their relationship past the flirtation stage, as she surprises the officer with an overture at his doorstep. As Boden tries to show his stepson James the ropes around the firehouse to convince him to join the company, a call to a scene leads to a difficult situation when Gabby hits a pedestrian, who quickly lawyers up and sues the department.

Gabby, meanwhile, is in hot water over the crash and is heavily scrutinized by the department superiors. While the supervisors put her under a microscope, her fellow officers stick by her side. To round out the episode, there's also a more light-hearted subplot that sees Hermann trying to prove himself when he's up for a big promotion.

28. One Hundred

"One Hundred" is the show's centennial episode, and it is an appropriately big one. Firehouse 51's favorite bar, Molly's, is in danger, and Hermann and Otis may just have a plan to save it. Since Molly's too is celebrating its 100th anniversary, the company hopes to get some press by throwing a big bash to mark the occasion. In a surprise turn, it's discovered that none other than Al Capone once frequented the bar. Will this association hurt their chances to get the attention needed to bring Molly's back to life?

Before we can get an answer, the bigger story unfolds, with Casey and Gabby finally tying the knot, with the entire company by their side. At the same time, it seems Severide may be having a crisis of character, and fans hoped this might spark a renewed a moment of enlightenment for him.

27. Law of the Jungle

"Law of the Jungle" closed out the first half of the sixth season with one of the most exciting episodes to date. Juggling a number of stories, the episode starts with a traffic accident involving a sheriff's van, and the inmate in the back isn't making it any easier on their attempt to save the wounded driver. When Severide takes off to chase the escaping con down, it leads to another round of questions, this time from Chief Grissom, about how the company does its job. However, further trouble arises when the driver dies from his injuries.

Of course, there's personal drama here too, with Brett stuck with Mouch at a spa, while Stella won't shut up about Severide while on her date with recurring guest star Zach. Just when you thought they couldn't pack any more drama into the episode, a gas leak leads to a fiery finale.

26. All the Proof

In the seventh season episode "All the Proof," Boden is surprised when Gorsch takes over his position as head of Firehouse 51 against his vociferous objections. Things go wrong for Gorsch right away when a call sends the company to a hotel where a dramatic suicide attempt gone wrong has filled the building with deadly gas, threatening all the guests. Gorsch is in over his head, and it shows.

As Boden exits to take a desk job, Chaplain Orlovsky also announces his retirement, with recurring guest star Teddy Sears stepping in as his replacement Kyle Sheffield. However, a curious greeting from Emily suggests the two may have a complicated history. Despite his own mistakes, however, it's Gorsch who reprimands the firehouse crew, filing a round of ridiculous write-ups to divert attention away from himself.

25. Until the Weather Breaks

A silent child shows up at the firehouse in "Until the Weather Breaks." Clearly traumatized, it becomes clear that something sinister has happened to the young boy, who refuses to say anything. It's up to the officers at Firehouse 51 to keep him safe and find the person responsible, which proves easier said than done.

At the same time, Otis comes across a shadowy man named John, who claims to be a firefighter from Detroit with a broken-down car, although the gun he's carrying says otherwise. His suspicious questions about the young boy they're giving safe harbor to also suggests he may be involved in the child's situation. The team knows something is fishy, and when Otis confronts him about his real identity, things take an unexpectedly violent turn.

24. The White Whale

Having found evidence that an arsonist who had once escaped his father may be connected to a new case, Severide continues the search for the man in Season 7's "The White Whale." However, Boden isn't as convinced and orders him to let the OFI handle it. Casey must help out Brett when a call sends them to a gang of kids setting off fireworks, one of which is shot into Brett's neck. 

Severide isn't willing to let the arsonist case go, believing the man may be a continued threat to hit another target. When he tries to get Alexa on his side, it lands him in trouble with Boden for not following his orders, and he's put on leave. A chat with Casey makes it clear that he's not alone.

23. Infection, Part 1

It's the first part of a massive franchise crossover in "Infection Part 1," a story that will pass through all three "One Chicago" series, with "Chicago Med" and "Chicago P.D." rounding out the three-part event. A taut thriller, the story opens at a tailgate party when a fan goes down in a seizure, apparently afflicted with a flesh-eating disease. After the patient is rushed to the hospital, the crossover begins with appearances from Dr. Halstead and Dr. Manning, who are on hand to manage the patient. 

While the doctors at first declare the disease is not contagious, that proves to be an incorrect diagnosis when an emergency call to an apartment complex yields multiple victims with the same affliction. What was once a single tragedy becomes a full-blown epidemic in the Windy City. When the CDC is called in, Chicago finds itself in the throes of a city-wide panic.

22. Not Like This

Several ongoing plots get wrapped up in Season 2's "Not Like This." With Firehouse 51 on the verge of closing, things look dire, and the staff starts receiving new assignments. However, the company isn't happy and makes one last-ditch attempt to save the firehouse, rallying firefighters from surrounding areas to help. Political machinations are brewing, and it's found out that the union president has been busted for embezzlement, putting all the recent closures in question.

Gabby gets word that she's finally been accepted into the firefighter academy, but, having established herself as an EMT, she is uncertain if the move is worthwhile. Cruz, meanwhile, is upset about Zoya returning to her native Russia and his brother potentially leaving Chicago for good when he thinks he's found a solution. However, it's the arrival of Senator Wheeler that gets the company's attention, as her meeting with top brass could very well decide the fate of the firehouse. 

21. Just Drive the Truck

"Just Drive the Truck" is a third season installment that sees trouble in the firehouse when two trucks get into a nasty collision. It starts as an ordinary call, but another truck from rival Firehouse 105 isn't looking to help but instead trying to steal the spotlight, turning the race to the scene into a competition. An accident at an intersection between the two engines creates a second, more immediate crisis, with the 105th's truck sustaining the worst of it. Their firefighters are in rough shape, and an emergency rescue gets underway.

The fallout from the crash is swift, with Cruz's actions being questioned, but it's Mills who's pulled off duty when it's discovered he suffers from a form of vertigo. Over at "Chicago Med," a firefighter from Firehouse 105 is in critical condition, and it's found that Cruz may have run through a red light, and may face serious consequences. 

20. Chopper

Season 3's "Chopper" gives us a unique emergency as a helicopter crash leaves the title chopper hanging off the edge of a building. Over the course of the episode, the victims of the accident slowly lead the team to the cause of the emergency. It begins with the team being called to the crash scene and Severide rushing to save the lives of the pilot and his passenger. The scene expands when Otis and Hermann find that the chopper's rotor has flown loose during the crash and pinned a woman down across the street.

While extricating the woman, they find a trail of blood leading them to another victim, a young boy bloodied and hiding in a shed, who confesses to accidentally causing the crash while flying a drone with his brother. The brother is in trouble of his own though, trapped amidst live wires after falling when the helicopter struck the building.

19. Spartacus

In the third season finale "Spartacus," Severide and Casey are still not seeing eye to eye over Rice, with Casey accusing Severide's former friend of being the cause of the problems at the firehouse. Tension continues to run high between the squad and the truck crew, which comes to a head on the first call of the episode before Chief Boden chastises them for their childish behavior. After catching Rice in a lie, however, Severide finally comes around and confronts him.

On another call, Gabby gets trapped inside a burning building, and it's Boden himself who picks up a mask and goes in to rescue her, ordering everyone else to stay outside. With Severide inside helping Gabby stay alive, it will have to be another narrow escape if everyone is to make it out alive. As a season-ender, however, nothing is guaranteed.

18. The People We Meet

Season 5's "The People We Meet" has Casey and Gabby continuing in their uphill custody battle with Louie's biological parents, and it's not looking promising. If they're going to win, it's going to be ugly.

Meanwhile, Severide agrees to donate bone marrow to Anna in a bid to save her life, but a leap out of a burning building puts the procedure in jeopardy. We also get another mini-crossover with Jeff Clarke of "Chicago Med" performing life-saving surgery on Severide. Mouch once again gets to play comic relief in a diverting subplot that breaks up the more bleak main stories with his attempts to put together a recruitment film with Otis' help.

17. No Regrets

"No Regrets" sees Boden confronting the very real possibility that he may have lung cancer, as several other members of the squad he was a part of in 1985 have died of the same cause. Firehouse 51 is at risk of closing, and McCloud uses the issue as leverage to get the chief to retire early. When Boden announces his exit, the company is stunned, but a sudden siren call interrupts the proceedings and sends the company on a crisis call.

When the crew of Firehouse 51 arrive at the scene of a derailed train, they find dozens of injured passengers trapped near a propane tanker that got loose. Now with no backup, thanks to McLeod's recent political gambits, they're on their own to attempt a rescue and must work against the clock to get everyone out before the tanker explodes.

16. The Sky Is Falling

In the Season 4 episode "The Sky Is Falling" we learn that Chili wasn't exactly honest about the reasons she left her last firehouse, and her solution to the problem only escalates things when she demands Boden give her a new partner. However, before that can be resolved, the Department of Homeland Security arrives to brief the team on a series of terror threats around Chicago. Recent intelligence has lead them to believe that someone is preparing for a major attack on the Windy City, and is attempting to divide and distract the city's resources.

As Boden and Chief Hatcher debate what to do with Chili, a call sends the crew to a building where they discover an apparent mass shooter — or shooters — and plenty of victims trapped inside. But the company finds themself in peril too, and surrounded by smoke and under fire, they must fight their way to safety while avoiding fire from both flames and a violent gunman.

15. Nobody Else Is Dying Today

In another story of life and death, "Nobody Else Is Dying Today" has Casey working outside the firehouse and when he is caught in a deadly factory accident. An acid tank begins spraying harmful toxins, which forces Casey and a young woman named Laurel to hide inside a break room to escape the fumes. However, that's only a stop-gap measure, as they're not truly out of danger and must break their way through a neighboring wall to get to safety. 

Unable to call for help and unable to create a passageway big enough for himself to crawl through, it'll be up to Laurel to make it out and get Casey's friends at Firehouse 51 to come to their rescue. Otis and Cruz provide the episodes with lighter elements as they attempt to out-prank each other.

14. Purgatory

The Season 5 episode "Purgatory" opens with most of the crew of "Chicago Fire" being given new assignments, all of which are away from their home at Firehouse 51. Stella and Sylvie find themselves at Firehouse 27, an apparent meat grinder of a company with a tyrannical leader in Captain Tipton. Otis tells his new company about his adventures with Firehouse 51, placing himself as the savior of every rescue.

Mouch and Hermann are sent to a nondescript house nicknamed Purgatory, a place where firefighters' careers seemingly go to die. They don't see many calls, and excitement is practically non-existent. Back at Firehouse 51, Severide is working with a new and inexperienced crew, who go out on a call and quickly illustrate why his old colleagues were such a special team.

13. The Chance to Forgive

One of the things that makes "One Chicago" such a unique franchise is the frequent crossover of characters, and Season 6's "The Chance to Forgive" gives us a double dose, with Dr. Choi of "Chicago Med" and Detective Lawson of "Chicago P.D." both appearing. In the episode, the company is called to a scene only to be met by violent gunfire. However, it's not from a crazed gunman but from a stash of live ammunition in a burning household going off in the blaze.

Stella and Otis are hit by stray rounds, and Severide comes to the rescue, getting them out of harm's way. Taking them to the hospital, Choi tells the crew that Otis is in critical condition with a bullet lodged close to his spinal cord.

12. What Will Define You

"What Will Define You" is a somber Season 7 installment that sees a farewell to Benny Severide, who died in the previous episode. While the family deals with the emotional fallout, struggling to process his death, Kelly is distraught that he can't find an important medal that belonged to his father. Back at the firehouse, Sylvie is called to the scene of a car accident where a child is trapped in the wreck. But there's more than meets the eye, and Sylvie is determined to get to the bottom of it.

As Boden and Kelly rally fellow firefighters to put together a proper funeral for Benny, Stella sets out on a mission to find the lost medal that may still reside with one of Benny's many ex-girfriends. In the end, thanks to Boden and Stella, Benny gets the service they wanted for him, and Kelly has a chance to cherish a piece of his father's legacy.

11. I'm Not Leaving You

Stella and Kelly continue their hunt for a serial arsonist from one of Benny's old cases in season seven's emotional season finale, "I'm Not Leaving You." Working closely together, the pair grow closer again, and it seems they might be rekindling their past relationship. The question is, will it last this time? That's not the only relationship that is rekindled either, as Kyle proposes to Sylvie Brett, and he gets a surprising "yes."

The episode is lighter on the action than usual but sees an end to a bitter rivalry as Grissom finally steps aside and puts an end to the political games that caused so much turmoil all season long. With no shocking revelations or major tragedies, fans were left to wonder what disaster might strike in the following season.

10. Sacred Ground

Following right where "I'm Not Leaving You" left off, the heartbreaking season eight premiere "Sacred Ground" reveals a shocking tragedy, with a long-time firehouse stalwart dying in the line of duty, the victim of a fire started in the previous episode. In the action-packed opening, a massive fire forces the company to attempt escape, with one man getting caught in a floor collapse just as a boiler explodes.

Rushed to the hospital, the company can do little but wait for news, and it's not good. In a shocking twist, the episode flashes forward a whole three months as the company is only just recovered from the loss of their comrade but is also still dealing with the ramifications of the tragic events that day. But with the time that has already passed, the team may finally be ready to welcome some new members to Firehouse 51. 

9. A Dark Day

Part one of a two-part crossover event with "Chicago P.D.," the second season episode "A Dark Day" depicts a tragedy ripped from national headlines. The episode opens with a team-up of the two crews in a charity event held outside the city hospital. Just as the race gets underway, disaster strikes when a bomb detonates, ripping through the hospital. When the dust settles, it's all-out chaos, with victims everywhere dead or dying.

But as the P.D. and F.D. get to work, it becomes clear that this isn't the end of the danger, as they suspect the culprit may have more explosives hidden elsewhere. Together with the two teams of Chicago's finest and bravest work together to aid surviving victims, prevent further catastrophe, and catch a killer.

8. Real Never Waits

Season premieres and finales always get high marks for their dramatic turns, and the Season 2 finale, "Real Never Waits," is no exception. Longtime fans will remember this as the first meeting between Mouch and Trudy, which leads to a season-long courtship. However, even more noteworthy is Chief Boden's marriage to Donna. Meanwhile, Gabby passes her firefighter's exam but is disappointed by her transfer to Firehouse 105 in Austin. 

There's no time for lamentations, as a call sends the company to a massive fire at a boarding school, where they check every room for victims. Severide is disturbed when the crew discovers a dead body in one of the rooms he looked at, troubled over whether he could have saved them had he done things differently.

7. I Am The Apocalypse

In a backdoor pilot for the new spinoff "Chicago Med," the Season 3 episode "I Am the Apocalypse" guest stars Nick Gehlfuss as Dr. Halstead, Yaya DaCosta as April Sexton, S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin, and Oliver Platt as Dr. Charles. It all starts with a catastrophic chemical leak that brings Firehouse 51's best to the scene, who unfortunately all wind up at the hospital.

The doctors spring into action, working furiously to save the injured, and must quarantine the company out of fear they might have an infectious disease. As the crisis unfolds, it becomes an outright disaster when one of the victims reveals himself as a suicide bomber. 

6. The Last One for Mom

Severide's blossoming romance with Detective Holloway was one of the high points of Season 3, especially the relationship he forged with her young son JJ. However, in "The Last One for Mom," it all came to a screeching halt in one of the most gut-wrenching episodes of the entire series. 

While keeping an eye on JJ at the Firehouse, Detective Holloway is shot on her way to testify at a trial. They try to distract JJ while his mother is in surgery, but she soon dies of her injuries. It's up to Severide to break the news and make sure JJ makes it through the ordeal as best as he can. Severide isn't alone, of course, as everyone at the firehouse comes together in the wake of the heartbreaking tragedy.

5. Deathtrap

Part one of a highly publicized three-part crossover, "Deathtrap" would be followed by episodes of "Chicago P.D." and the short-lived "Chicago Justice." Beyond those follow-up chapters, the episode also includes most of the cast of "Chicago Med." The story begins when the company is called to a massive fire that breaks out at an abandoned factory used as a living space where a large party is being thrown. With countless people trapped inside, the situation becomes personal when Olinsky, a character from "Chicago P.D.," realizes his daughter may be at risk.

As dozens of victims are pulled out and rushed to the hospital, firefighters and doctors alike are working harder than ever. However, when the crisis abates, it becomes clear that the fire is no accident, and the Chicago P.D. may have an arsonist on their hands.

4. Telling Her Goodbye

Fans think of "Chicago Fire" as an action-centric series, and "Telling Her Goodbye" shows exactly why it gets that reputation. Otis remarks that there's a gangland turf war in the neighborhood, and the members of Firehouse 51 hear gunshots just outside almost immediately. Before long, the company is under siege from gang members looking for help for their injured comrade, and they're not asking nicely. Despite the less than polite approach, Boden insists they help the man.

Soon Severide and Stella — alone in the locker room when the commotion began — hatch a plan to take back the firehouse from the criminal hostage-takers. But will their plan to call for help wind up doing more harm than good? 

3. Carry Me

The Season 5 episode "Carry Me" is another emotional heartbreaker with another tragic loss. The episode opens with Severide refusing to accept Anna's dire situation. He gets a good distraction when he responds to a house fire where a woman refuses to leave her home. The woman is going through her own struggles and the pair trade stories. She reveals that having recently lost her husband, she can't stand the thought of losing her home, the last remnant of their life together. 

Helping her recognize when it's time to let go, Severide has a moment where he understands that he needs to do the same. Meanwhile, Casey and Boden work to save Kendall's career after a disciplinary panel, but it seems the beleaguered firefighter doesn't actually want their help.

2. Going To War

In the second episode of Season 7, we got the first big crossover event of the year, the first part in a three-part story — capped off with episodes of "Chicago Med" and "Chicago P.D." — and it all lived up to the hype. It was all hands on deck in "Going To War," as all units are called to the scene of one of the biggest fires seen yet when a monumental skyscraper is engulfed in flames. 

A fire of that scale in a structure that size posed all kinds of problems for Firehouse 51, and before you know it, it is revealed to be something more than an accident. Once again, the emergency becomes personal when Halstead tells Chief Boden that his father lives in the building. This episode isn't for the faint of heart, as it includes some of the most disturbing imagery of the season as tragedy strikes in the blaze.

1. My Miracle

The Season 5 finale "My Miracle" will leave you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, and this one's a cliffhanger, too. First, both truck and squad are called to the scene of a car trapped teetering on the edge of a bridge, and there's a child inside. After saving the kid, Hermann forms a bond with the young boy through their shared love of baseball. 

However, nothing can prepare them for what comes next, as a massive building fire gets out of control, forcing Boden to order his crew out. When Mouch is stricken with a heart attack, and Herrmann and Severide are trapped inside with no escape, the episode abruptly ends, and we're left to wonder who'll survive to the next season in one of the absolute best episodes of "Chicago Fire."