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The Worst Fire In Chicago Fire Season 5

When it comes to putting viewers on the deadly, scorching-hot front lines alongside actual firefighters on the job, NBC's hit "Chicago Fire" pulls no punches when it comes to depicting the spectacular and destructive blazes that often drive the drama on the show. In fact, that authenticity dates back to the show's very episode, as Christian Stolte, who plays firefighter Mouch McHolland, told CinemaBlend about shooting the series' first big fire scene. "It was pass-out hot, and we were brand new at this," he recalled. "We had one man, [technical advisor] Steve Chikerotis, looking at everybody's face to see who looked like they were going to pass out...."

And while no cast member actually suffered any heat-related effects during the shoot, one fictional character did perish during that initial blaze, making it a truly bad fire on the show –- but with even worse to come. The "Always" episode in Season 3, for instance, saw a key squad member seriously hurt and a fan favorite, Lauren German's Leslie Shay, killed in the burning building's collapse. Then, in Season 9's "Dead Winter," a homeless encampment in the city goes up in flames with tragic and lethal results. With these and other disastrous conflagrations pictured on the show, which stands out as the worst fire faced by the Firehouse 51 team in the 5th Season of "Chicago Fire"?

The fire in this episode was the worst of Chicago Fire's 5th season -- for several reasons

Airing in March of 2017, the "Deathtrap" episode of "Chicago Fire" is the opening salvo in a major "One Chicago" crossover event that continues on in the "Chicago P.D." episode "Emotional Proximity" and finishes up with the premiere "Fake" installment that kicks off the short-lived "Chicago Justice."

As the Firehouse 51 team responds to a major fire in a warehouse/factory-turned-living-spaces structure, the blaze quickly explodes into a monster firestorm, with multiple victims trapped inside. As the chaos and casualties mount, more services are called in, with cast members of both "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med" arriving on scene. Finally, the situation becomes even more desperate when chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) calls for all firefighters to evacuate the building, even though a P.D. detective's beloved daughter is still trapped in the burning building. 

While that cliffhanger setup alone is enough to make this fire one of the most emotionally devastating on the show, The Mercury News criticized the episode for hitting way too close to home in the light of a real-life event with similar circumstances. According to the outlet, "Deathtrap" was set to air only three months after the Ghost Ship warehouse fire, which killed 36 concertgoers and was ranked by NBC News as one of the worst U.S. building fires of the last 50 years. The Mercury News op-ed went on to pointedly ask, "Does anyone — especially friends and family of Ghost Ship victims — really want to watch 'screaming party goers' trying to escape a raging fire?"