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Can You Listen To Otis' Podcast From Chicago Fire?

"Chicago Fire" was the first installment in Dick Wolf's "One Chicago" franchise, premiering in October of 2012. The series has killed off more characters than most shows typically would in its 10 seasons, but between 60 and 70 U.S. firefighters die in a typical year (via The National Fire Protection Association), so deaths among their television counterparts shouldn't be terribly surprising.

One very popular character who suffered a tragic on-duty demise was Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuriy Sardarov). The amiable and relatively soft-spoken Otis was killed fighting a factory fire in the Season 8 premiere, and his death is regarded as one of the saddest moments in the show's run. The popular mustachioed driver was part-owner of Molly's, the bar common to each of the four "One Chicago" shows, and got his moniker from his experience working in elevators and elevator shafts. 

"Chicago Fire" is filled with dramatic situations, but the show shines with its extended looks inside the firehouse. Otis' podcast gave the character a chance to inform and entertain both his fictional co-workers and the show's real-world audience. The usually good-natured ribbing he took from his fellow firefighters fortunately never dampened his dedication to his project — but did the podcast die with Otis? 

Some episodes of Otis' podcast are available as web exclusives

Fans of "Chicago Fire" who miss Otis Zvonecek and his witty and informative podcast can see at least a few episodes on YouTube. In Episode #120 he confesses to having abandoned his childhood dream of being a lion tamer in favor of "a safer career path, where I run into burning buildings."  

Episode #123 features some good-natured ribbing of the Chicago Police Department and expressions of both pride and confusion with the Fire Department's own goat mascot. Otis opens Episode #124 by noting that "tragedy can strike anytime" — in this case, he's referring to a bathroom stall without toilet paper, but the phrase takes on an ominous undertone when viewed after his own untimely death.

But Otis is most intentionally philosophical in the first of the three episodes, noting that, "whether it's a promotion, or training for squad, or just trying to start a family of our own, we all strive to achieve something more." Randy "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) interjects with a proverb delivered in perfect Japanese, then English: "If you do not enter the tiger's cave, you will not catch its cub." 

Perhaps Otis should have ignored his parents, guidance counselor, and his grandmother's priest, and taken his chances with the lions.