Voila! Finally, the Backdraft
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Ron Howard fire
movie with Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Backdraft. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
Leave me alone, will ya? You think you're so smart.
Would you stay still already?
What a geek!
- I'm not a geek! - You're doing it wrong!
- Shut up! - You're doing it wrong.
- It doesn't go like that. - Who asked you?
- Who's your brother? - You are, Stevie!
You do it like this, it'll open up in a fire,
you'll get burned and die.
What d'you got, Adcox, a big deal?
Medium deal, Captain.
Hey, Brian, want to come along?
- Dad... - Stephen, you've come a dozen times.
Give your brother a chance. What d'you say?
We'll be back in a minute. How about it?
- Sure! - Come on!
- Pull the cord, Brian!
- Give it a yank, a good pull.
You've gotta get these cars outta the way.
- Give it another yank!
Well, there it is, right over there. See it?
You stay near the truck now.
That doesn't look too bad.
Drop two lines and hold the squad.
Everything I own in the whole world is up there.
All my stuff's up there!
Adcox! Ladder up!
Hey, that's your old man up there, Brian.
Nice grab, Captain!
Take it easy. You'll be okay.
We got it! Come on.
Hold on, Adcox. Is that a gas line?
Hey, Brian! Brian McCaffrey, got some l.D.?
Hey, Willie! I'll give you l.D.!
- The littlest McCaffrey! - How you doin'?
Hot off the presses, boys! Station assignments!
Hey, McCaffrey! Station assignments!
Why don't you hold onto that for me, huh?
Something wrong with my eyesight?
You really trying this fireman thing again?
- Quitting once wasn't good enough? - It's in the blood.
- Is that right? - Willie, you owe me a brew!
Hold on! I'm talking to the fire chief!
Let's look and see what else was in your blood.
I always looked forward to getting these.
- You hold onto those, huh? - Whoa! I got station !
"Aspen Snowmobile Tours. Brian McCaffrey, Sales."
It didn't offer the growth and challenge that I needed.
"Cattle Drive Mobile Log Cabins."
- That was in your blood six months? - The coffee sucked.
"Brian's Sound Spectrum, Direct Hi-end Stereo Sales."
This is your own company. This was a big step, huh?
I was ahead of my time, Willie.
What's the matter with you? Aren't you even curious?
How'd you know, you prick? These are supposed to be sealed.
And a case of Scotch to the captain at station assignments.
You crooked son-of-a-bitch!
Make us proud, guys!
McCaffrey, that's my cousin's company.
Calm down, Mrs. Vaitkus.
Mrs. Vaitkus, please, calm down.
McCaffrey, I think it's a box, or a at least.
- Just give me one minute. - Hurry, we can't miss this one!
- Hey. - Hi, Jen.
- I see your grandma's still-- - Yeah, she still hates you.
- You look great. - Thanks. How long you been in town?
- Oh, really. - But I, uh...
l've been really busy at the academy.
I graduated today.
I can see that.
So what have you been up to?
Well, uh... I work at city hall, actually.
No kidding? That's great!
So... I don't know what--
Maybe you and I could... could get together for a beer.
It's funny. You're acting like I just saw you last week.
When I haven't seen you in what... six years?
Don't want ya overheatin', Brian!
I'll give you overheatin'!
Easy, man. I don't have time for this bullshit.
Well, you've certainly matured.
Well, it's nice to know we can still be friends.
Come on, Brian. We got a fire to go to.
Engine your pressure's fine.
Get out of the way here, please.
Officers, you're standing around with your thumb up your asses.
- Where you going? - I'm a fireman.
Need a second lead-out?
What the fuck are you talking about?
- Get out of here! - Brian!
This is the real shit, man!
The real thing!
Well, what do we got here?
A fireman's costume, huh?
Where'd you rent it?
Thanks for coming to my graduation today, brother.
You're a real inspiration to me.
I'm sorry, man.
You're really ready to fight fire this time, huh, Brian?
It just doesn't work on you, little brother.
- I'll see you around. - Not likely.
You see, that's where you're wrong already.
I talked to Chief Fitzgerald.
He decided maybe you shouldn't be way on the other side of town...
where l'd never get to see you.
Starting tomorrow, you're going to be...
with the toughest company in the city.
... my company.
One case of Scotch, Brian?
Man, you're gettin' cheap in your old age.
Get outta here, girls.
You should learn not to box when the 's on the job.
Hey, lnspector Rimgale, she's all yours.
Hey, give me a shot of that, will ya?
So, you got a cause there?
Mice with matches.
Well, the glory boys are going to have to...
wait a few days on this one.
Hey, buddy. What's goin' on?
It's Uncle Brian.
You'll remember this.
We don't need no stinkin' spinach!
- Mom! Mom! - Hey...
Come here. It's okay.
- Hello? - Yeah?
- Brian... - Hey, Helen.
God, l'd about written you off.
I know, well--
So, uh... What's goin' on?
- Can I come in for a second? - Sure.
- How you doin'? - Okay.
Good to see you.
So that's Sean, huh?
Geez, he's a little giant now.
You'd be surprised what a few years can do to a kid.
- Remember your Uncle Brian? - No.
You don't remember him?
Hey, Sean-man. Where's your daddy today?
Uh... Stephen's not staying here anymore.
He moved out last April.
I'm sorry, Helen, I, uh--
You guys should try picking up the phone once in a while.
I, uh... talked to Helen.
I thought Dad's boat was finally retired...
to the old family graveyard.
Don't you worry about falling out of this thing?
l've gotta tell you,
I love what you've done with the place.
Yeah, it's comin' along.
You want a beer?
Yeah, why not?
What, you been rippin' off fire stations again?
Just some old stuff...
that Adcox gave me that the department was gonna throw out.
But it's good enough for this tub.
What is this?
"lron Butterfly," "Cream"?
You gotta be kidding! This isn't an actual operating -track!
What do you want, Brian?
What are you doin' here?
I wanna know why you messed with my station assignment.
I mean, does this really have to be...
one of those big brother, little brother...
you broke my G.l. Joe and I'm still pissed games?
Man, how do you do it, huh?
How d'you keep coming up with...
new and amazing ways to fuck up?
I mean, that Scotch bullshit?
Am I really supposed to believe you came home...
because you felt heartstrings moan for the family biz?
You were bankrupt! The scary thing is...
you probably coulda got away with it for awhile.
Hang back a little bit at the fires--
You know the drill.
The only problem is, that in this job...
there's just no place to hide.
It's not like having a bad day selling log cabins.
You have a bad day here, somebody dies.
And that's just not fucking good enough.
You know something?
I must've told myself a million times...
I didn't even want to be a damn fireman.
Look, I know I quit the academy before.
- And I know how you must've felt. - Oh, you do?
You know how I felt?
I gotta do this, Stephen.
I need to know.
Yeah, I think you're going to find out, Brian.
Try not to be late tomorrow, huh?
Give me a break, huh!
Come on, damn it!
- My car wouldn't start! - What are you doin', man?
Come on, man. You can make it!
Well, Baby McCaffrey, how you doin'?
How you doin', John?
Hey, Axe, you know this rug rat?
Know him? I practically raised him.
He never calls. He never writes.
All right! Garment factory.
Shake and bake, boys! I think we got a barbecue.
Got yourself a hot one first time out, kid.
Oh, yeah, this is gonna taste like shit.
- All right, let's go! - Shit!
I hate it when we gotta fucking go look for it.
Call in a box, Otis. We're gonna need some back-up.
Get the high-rise jet.
- These moments do try me. - Be gentle now, Axe.
Hey, Probie, how about it, huh?
- You ready? - Yeah.
You're doin' it wrong.
Stay beside me. I mean, right beside me.
Come on, man. Kick it in.
- Let's take it from the side. - No, let's hit it head-on!
It's gonna flash on us, Bull. We gotta back out!
She'll steam on us a little, but she won't flash.
Here comes your water.
Here it comes!
All right, let's go for the throat!
Hey, Nightengale! Save your fucking air, man.
Pull down that wall!
I gotta ventilate this heat.
All right, hook us up to a standpipe! Come on, Brian, hustle!
It's in the walls!
- How about it, Probie? - Coming!
Come on, Brian. We're going to lose this!
- Hey, Otis, is it-- - It's jumpin' floors.
So where's the second-in companies, huh?
Sorry, man, John Wayne time. You're on your own, boss.
- No back-up. - Shit!
- Dig in, goddamn it! - All right, come on!
What the hell's goin' on? What was that, goddamn it?
Slow down, it's jumpin' floors to us.
Relax, put your mask on. It's gonna be the real deal.
Cover up, Lieutenant!
I'm burning up!
Put him out!
All right, go get it!
Sorry, kid. I thought you were dead.
We got it. Let's go!
You go, we go!
Brian, let's go!
The chief thinks we got one left behind downstairs, a civilian.
Down to two probies, perfect!
- Take Tim and do a search! - Let's go, kid!
- Stay with him. - Okay, I will.
Come on. Let's move it, Brian. Stay on this line.
Ow! You son-of-a-bitch!
Stephen! Over here!
Someone's over here!
- Where's my brother? - I don't know. I ain't seen him, Bull!
Is anybody in here?
I got one!
I got one!
I got one!
Somebody, give me a hand!
Is she going to be all right?
I'm afraid you're a little too late with this one.
Sorry to hear about the mannequin.
I heard you two were close.
You all right?
You didn't get burned, did you?
Look, I'm a little busy right now.
You've got an awful short memory for direct orders.
- I told you to stay beside me. - I heard somebody call.
What was that bullshit with the standpipe?
The cap was stuck!
I told you to stay right be-fucking-side me, Brian!
Hey, look, I was doing it!
I was up there doing it!
You don't know, man. You don't know what I did!
What you did was drop the ball, Probie.
You split the team up. Get that part right...
if you wanna.
- Let me get one of those. - Here you go.
I don't know, Axe. I don't know.
That Stephen, man.
What goes through that guy's head?
Never wears his mask.
Making us take it on in the first room like that.
This shit's happening too often, man.
- Could've flashed. Should've flashed! - Yeah, but it didn't.
- Stevie knows. - The guy's lucky.
- Alderman. - lnspector Rimgale.
- I... need to get in that trunk. - Oh, excuse me.
Pretty fancy shoes you're wearing for a fire scene.
Guess you haven't been to many fires.
We wanted to talk to you about Alan Seagrave's death.
We still haven't gotten a fire report.
You'll get that answer as soon as I do, ma'am.
A man gets stuffed through the windshield of his own car.
Is that an accident or arson?
People are asking me. I gotta tell 'em something.
We're starting to get the feeling your office is dragging out this case...
to embarrass the alderman because of his fire department cutbacks.
I have an uncomplicated job: to decide if a fire is arson.
lf so, to catch the son-of-a-bitch doing it.
lf my investigative methods happen to muck up...
the campaign of certain mayor wanna-be's,
I gotta tell you,
I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
I'm sure you're gonna have that report on my desk as soon as it's ready.
- You'll have it. - Thank you.
That guy better not make any rights on reds in my district.
You missed it.
Get over there. Keep 'em busy.
You should've been there. It was fucking great!
We almost lost a whole goddamn company for you.
Since you shut down there's no fucking backup.
We appreciate it. I don't know about the rest,
- but you got my vote for mayor. - lf you have a problem, help us.
- Work with the task force. - The task force?
Three guys have died because of cuts made by your fucking task force!
Know that little glow that's starting to blink in the corner of your eye?
That's your career dissipation light. It went into overtime.
- Come on, man. - No.
lf anybody's lights are about to go out,
believe me, they're yours.
Thanks a lot, fellas.
You did a great job today, by the way.
Alderman, will this affect your task force findings?
No more today. Good-bye.
So this is that big city job you were talking about.
Yeah. Welcome home, Brian.
Where's that fucking guy buy his shoes?
Did you check those out? They're like fucking butter.
Get outta here.
Do you have to do that?
Yeah. Could you believe that fire?
There we were, Adcox and me...
pulling that lady right out of the fire's fucking throat.
We saved a life, man!
I love it here! Fighting th!
You see how he took that fire? By the balls!
I'm gonna be that good someday.
You watch. You'll see.
You know what Stephen said to me?
When the shit was coming hard,
he said, "You never know...
till the moment the fire stares you down...
- if you're just gonna do this job--" - Or be great at it, right?
He using that line of shit on you now?
You think he made that little gem up?
My old man used to use that line every other day.
It's no line, man!
That's no line.
Hey, kid, we ain't waitin'!
Go, go, go!
Let's go! No, no, not that way!
What's going on?
Come on. Let's go!
It's lunch, Probies! Let's get started!
Ooo, caw, caw! A couple of crows, man!
That money will probably end up coming from--
- This better be good. - Or we feed you to the thing.
Shut up. You got something against dalmatians?
Accident or murder?
That's the question arson investigators are struggling with...
after a freak explosion known by firefighters as a backdraft--
Hey, Pengelly, you're on TV.
- I saw you too! - Look, that's me.
He's been identified as Alan Seagrave, a prominent Chicago C.P.A.
Despite pressure from the city council,
fire officials refuse to speculate on the cause,
saying only that their investigation is continuing.
- Gentlemen, gentlemen. - Here he goes again.
As th's official toastmaster--
- And bullshitter. - Thank you, Santos.
Did I mention you were cut out of my will?
I think it appropriate...
that we recognize the two asswipes... probationary firemen,
among us today, who were officially baptized...
into the world of old man fire.
First, to Tim.
Despite the fact he was born with a dull expression...
and a really hideous pair of ears,
he not only took on the beast,
but pulled from its clutches,
assisted by a more famous and brilliant firefighter... me,
a kicking and screaming civilian...
who'll probably wind up suing us for breaking her fingernails.
And to Brian.
Help me, Santos.
Whose own contribution...
was both more beautiful and less likely to sue us.
When I heard that both McCaffrey brothers...
were being assigned here at this station at the same time,
my heart was filled with a... sudden desire to transfer.
So raise a glass, lads,
to funny-looking Tim and the McCaffrey brothers.
For despite the fact...
they've gotten on each other's nerves for years,
have managed with great effort to still be pissed off at each other.
What is it good for Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all War, look out
What is it good for Absolutely nothing
Listen to me Ohh war
I despise 'cause it means--
Thanks for the ride.
I'll see you tonight, huh?
Yeah, I'll see you tonight.
l've known Jack Fitzgerald since he was a candidate.
They had fire engines then?
- Get that man's name! - I gotta say, he was just as ugly then.
Can I have a beer, please?
- Hey. How you doin'? - Hey.
- ...home of the real firemen.
Enough of us stroking each other.
Here's the man we're here to honor,
- Chief Jack Fitzgerald.
I know I speak for everybody here.
It's about time you retired...
and made a promotion for somebody else.
Think I oughta change the view.
I couldn't have wished for a better life.
Thank you much.
- I don't believe this shit! - Pretty boy, get a load of this.
Bull, wait'll you listen to this shit.
- Let me see. - Hey-hey-hey.
"Probationary Fireman, Brian McCaffrey,
on his first fire, showed the bravery and courage of a veteran...
when he risked life and limb to...
- double-check a burning floor, alone.
Emerging victoriously with Anna Rodriquez,
a seamstress for the North Shore Clothing Company."
Axe, get a load of this shit!
"McCaffrey first gained prominence as the subject...
of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken...
- at the scene of his father's death." - That's me.
What are we gonna do about this?
- Hey, what's going on? - Well...
I think that it's union bylaw...
that if you get your picture in the paper, even if it's bullshit,
- you buy the whole company a drink. - All right!
I know I'm gonna have another double... on the hero!
- Give him a hand over here. - What's this?
Leave 'em alone.
Brian McCaffrey, huh?
Brian, this is my boss, Alderman Swayzak. He wanted to meet you.
You should be proud of helping to save that woman's life.
- That was a hell of a job. - Don't believe everything you read.
Don't be so modest, Brian.
That's a mannequin.
let me just get down to it, okay?
l've been checking you out. Jennifer can't say enough.
I need your help.
- I'm gonna offer you a job. - l've already got a job.
The great thing about this job, it's still with the fire department.
One of your best investigators, Don Rimgale, is working a really tough case.
He needs an extra pair of hands.
lf that name is gonna come from my office,
- I want it to be you. - Why is that?
I want someone from a real traditional fire-fighting clan.
Yeah, we got all kinds of traditions...
like dying young. Thanks anyway.
Took you all of seconds to blow that off.
Brian, I know it's not my place to say this,
but I think you're passing on a great opportunity.
- You're smarter than that. - Look, Jen.
I'm trying to do something here. Can't you see that?
I'm trying to be a fireman,
not some kind of poster boy for Swayzak.
There's gotta be at least other smoke eaters here...
that do that shit for real every day.
Why don't you tell Swayzak to talk to one of them?
Lost the wanted driver
His crooked style forgotten and unchanged
He took a train to draw me over
You're not the only one
Caught where there's nothing for you
Hey, Bull, slow down.
I used to be king of the evening
And I'm not ungenerous now
The work is light but not easy
Helen, can I talk to you for a minute?
- What about? - It's about Sean.
Right here, right now, you wanna talk about Sean?
- How you doin', Stephen? - Hey, Jackson.
You don't have to stop dancing.
It's only our son, for Christ's sake.
- Stephen, you don't have to remind me. - Stephen.
- What about your dumbass brother? - Wait a second.
Saving a mannequin. How fuckin' stupid can a guy get?
- Stephen, relax. - Let go.
You got anything else you want to say about my brother?
Goddamn you, McCaffrey!
Atta boy, Brian!
Take it outside!
- Knock it off! - Come here, you son-of-a-bitch!
Ow-ow-ow. Oh, I'm bleeding.
Knock it off. Come on, eh?
Hey! Knock it off.
Hey, hey, I'm fine.
Jesus, Stevie, you never know when to quit, do you?
Do you ever wonder why...
you're stuck a fucking lieutenant for life?
Come on. Let's get a drink.
- You okay? - Yeah, I'm all right.
- Get him outta here! - I just wanna get a drink.
You need to get the hell outta here. Let's go.
The whole family's crazy.
You nailed him.
He's all right. He said something.
- What'd he say? - I don't remember.
Listen, I can walk by myself.
Ow! I hurt my ankle, man.
Don't stand and laugh. Get me up!
Yeah. Oop. Photographer.
-Think I can get on the cover of "Life"? -Let's go.
- Is Axe a great guy?
He doesn't know shit about what I want.
l've got news for everybody. I'm not my old man.
A fire won't get me. I know more than he did.
I know more about fire than all of 'em.
Time for bed, Sugar Ray.
Let me get those for you.
Get outta my way. I can get my shoes off.
You're such a pain in the ass.
You always were.
What are you talkin' about? I saved your ass tonight.
Why don't they trust me anymore, huh, Brian?
Really, the guys just don't trust me anymore.
Hey, this boat could be great, don't you think?
Maybe I'll just...
just take it out on weekends.
Sean and me.
We could just float.
Get it on your shoulder, Probie. It's not a football.
What's the long face
What's all the cryin' for
Didn't you expect it
When you opened your door
Did the man with the long coat
With a long list of victims
And everybody watching knows
He's the one keeping the score
From where she sits everyone stands in judgment
And people watching as the curtain falls down
See the lights do a long slow fade
The show goes on
And the sad-eyed sisters go walkin' on
Everyone watchin' all along
The show goes on
As the earth turns and the summer's all gone
Still without you the show goes on
You're not breaking any records, Brian.
Goddamn it! Get it on your shoulder!
All right, Stephen. Come on, Stephen!
Come on, Brian. Kick that old man's ass!
Run, damn you!
I'm comin'. I'm comin'!
Are you okay?
Run, damn you!
Oh, shit. Okay, roll the hose.
- Are you kidding me? By myself? - You heard me.
- What about Tim? - Aw, shit. What about Tim?
For Christ's sake. Next time I'll let you win.
You got a problem with drilling, Probie?
- Is that it? - No! I don't have a problem with it.
But let's just have one drill, Lieutenant,
-not one for the company and one for me. -Roll the hose now!
I'm not gonna quit, Stephen. You hear me?
I'm not gonna quit.
My baby! My baby is still up there!
- Please, somebody! - Where's your baby at?
How many men you got in there?
My baby is still up there. Please help me!
Hold on, Steve. Don't go up there.
- Wait for the hose line. - Brian!
Hey, don't take that kind of shit from it!
Don't let it know you're scared!
-Stephen, we gotta wait for a hose team. -No time.
- You ready? - We gotta wait for a hose team.
Jump when I say. It won't get us.
Now! Hold your breath!
- Steve, Steve. - All right.
- You kicked ass, Bull. - Way to go, Bull.
Man, that was pretty crazy, huh?
I waited. I would've waited.
- Come on. Don't worry about it. - But you did it, man.
You did it all the way. You were really a hero.
Brian... it's not about being a hero.
I went in because there was a kid up there.
I do what I do because that's my way. And it was Dad's way.
- Maybe it's not everybody's way. - Dad's way?
He tell you that in a fucking seance, huh?
You said you needed to know something.
What did you learn today, huh?
What if there had been another kid up there?
Oh, I don't know.
What do you think, Brian?
Time to move on?
You win, Stephen. You're the best.
Listen, Jen, l--
l've been thinking about what you said.
lf the offer's still on the table, l'd like to talk about it.
That's great, really great news.
The alderman'll be thrilled that you're working with us.
Marty's a good man, Brian.
So stop me if I got this wrong.
The fire's almost out, you're upstairs on the unburned floor...
- checkin' for heat. Correct? - Yes, sir.
- Messages for you. - Thank you.
You've been told by your battalion chief, your captain...
and by me not to do nothin', right?
- Do nothin' until ordered, correct? - Yes, sir.
Now the itch starts. The glory boy flash starts.
"I'm a hero. Heroes don't stand around."
- You can tell me. That's what it was? - Yes, sir.
So you punched out a window for ventilation.
Was that before or after you noticed you were standing in a lake of gasoline?
Was that before or after you noticed...
you were standing in a lake of gasoline, you idiot?
You could have burned, killed, or crispered half that company.
You wrecked the physical evidence that I use to prove that it's arson.
You know how goddamn hard it is to determine the cause.
Now go home and you think about that.
- I'll have to call him back. - Excuse me.
- Yeah? - Brian McCaffrey, your new assistant.
Oh, Dennis' kid. Why don't you go find a corner to hide in?
I'll get to you later. I don't wanna deal with you now.
You still standing there?
I think we should get something straight here now.
I was assigned to this office by the city.
- You better get used to me. - I know who you were assigned by.
I knew your father too. He was a hell of a fireman.
He had a hell of a reputation.
But it don't cut slack here as far as I'm concerned.
Swayzak sends you here, fine. I gotta eat you? Those are the rules.
I got nothin' to say about that.
Swayzak or no, you work for me now.
Step outta line, make one false move, you're outta here.
Don't think you're the first.
- Let's go. - Where we goin'?
Hi, Ronald. How ya doin'? Stayin' comfortable?
- I didn't think you would make it. - I wouldn't miss this.
- Who's that? - He works for me.
Is he a fireman? I like firemen.
You like everybody, Ronald.
Brian McCaffrey. Yeah, sure. No, that's Stephen.
He's the little one with the hat.
Oh, what a treat!
- Hey, do I know you? - Your dad did.
- Who the hell is this guy? - Nah, put it away.
Come on, Shadow. He lost his dad to the animal and...
you didn't even tell him who he was coming to see? Tell him.
Let me tell you about Ronald. Ronald likes telephones.
Likes to tape wooden matches to the bell strikers...
and then wrap it in cotton with gasoline.
Had a whole little thing goin', huh? And when you got bored?
What'd you do?
- He started makin' calls. - Never proved.
Tell him about us down on State Street.
Nah. Nobody cares about that one.
It was your basic warehouse torch I was doin' for the owner.
I mean, they were a cakewalk. I just--
I just lost my concentration and my animal turned on me.
Got the whole place going like hell.
My hair was on fire, my hands.
Everything. I was dead.
Then suddenly I was alive. I was pulled out of there...
by my hero, my Shadow here.
Except, he didn't see this big tub of phosphorous, did you?
Explosion lit him up so bright, left his shadow on the wall.
Still shy about rolling up your sleeves, Shadow?
Show him your stomach.
The funny thing about firemen,
night and day, they're always firemen.
All right, the parole board has received...
Mr. Bartel's fitness report,
his l.D. endorsement from his section warden.
As supervising psychiatrist, I would describe...
Mr. Bartel's progress as remarkable.
Taking into account his disability and the six years...
he's already served, I recommend a parole.
do you regret your crimes?
and I'm aware of the pain that I have caused.
lf released, will you commit these crimes again?
No. No, I won't.
Do you consider yourself ready for society?
Yes, I do.
Yeah, right, Ronald. You're ready, all right.
- Excuse me. - Excuse me.
- Shadow. - Remember this?
Remember this, Ronald?
- Remember who it belonged to? - Mm-hmm.
What did you do to that little girl?
It's not fair, Shadow.
What did you do to that little girl?
I burned her.
You burned her.
What do you do to old ladies, Ronald?
And what about the world, Ronald?
What would you like to do with the whole world?
Burn it all.
See ya next year, Ronald.
We figured the body's the owner, some guy named Cosgrove.
Weird blast, though, like that other guy...
who went through the windshield of his own car.
Explosion blew out the flame before the engine got here.
Good for us; not too good for him.
Bring the toolbox.
Tim, get the hot spots.
You in the cheap seats, watch it.
Well, let's go.
Hey, McCaffrey, need a special invitation? Come on.
Charge the line, Axe.
- What do you want me to do with this?
We got heavy smoke stains observed in entry room.
Smoke demarcation line is very low.
Fire never got hot enough here to cook the soot off.
Come on, you sneaky little son-of-a-bitch.
Come on. Tell me where you came from.
Point me where you started.
Burn indicators distended toward northern wall.
Less soot here, more heat.
Lack of discoloration in shattered glass...
indicates slow burn before explosion.
There's some little dead rat critters here.
Fire originated in this room. Took its time.
The air ran out. It couldn't breathe. It was snuffed.
But it wasn't dead.
Must have been all that trapped heat lying low,
waiting for some sucker to give it one big gulp of air.
This is our point of origin. Let me have a crowbar.
No sign of accelerants.
Well, if it's arson, somebody figured a new way to hide it.
Okay, we got Alan Seagrave...
and Donald Cosgrove.
Both deaths due to close encounters...
with stationary objects.
We have an office door for Cosgrove...
and, oh, an ' Porsche for Seagrave.
No nonrelevant traumas.
No significant blood toxicology.
Attitude of both trajectories are consistent with explosion.
They ran the residue you scraped from both front doors.
It's a combination of plumber's putty and rayophene gum.
It burns almost completely away when you light it.
- So it was on both doors? - Yeah.
Something else I want to show you. You're gonna have to help me.
McCaffrey, why don't you come over and help us?
No, I don't think so. Not in my contract.
I just rewrote your contract.
Come on over and help us.
- Anyway, we're gonna have to lift him. - Great.
Christ, he's not gonna sell you insurance. Just lift him up.
You see that patch of shirt right there?
We wondered about the discoloration.
So I scraped a piece off and ran a spectro on it.
On a lucky shot, they picked up traces of something.
What was it?
Nobody around here ever heard of it.
Yeah, trychtichlorate. It eats magnesium.
It's an absorption catalyst used in toxic waste accidents.
It's rare. They stopped making it a couple of years ago.
We figured it got in his clothes in a gas state from the fire.
What was it doing in the fire?
That's your job. Okay!
Stephen, what-- What are you doing here?
Just fixin' my roof.
You've gotta stop just showing up on the roof like this.
Look, I just-- I wanted to, I don't know, not exactly...
apologize for the other night, especially since...
- I don't remember much. - You remember.
Yeah, I know. I just wanted to say, I don't know, something.
The great communicator.
So what's going on, Stephen?
You only bang on the roof when you got something on your mind.
How's Brian doing?
- He's out. He quit. - He just up and quit for no reason?
I don't care what you heard, Helen, I treated him better...
than any other probie I ever had. All right?
He probably hates my guts...
but at least he finally took a look in the mirror.
So once again, Stephen's right and somebody else is wrong.
You always gotta be right.
- That's such bullshit. - Yeah? Why?
Because I'm the first to admit it when I'm wrong.
Yeah? How often does that happen?
ln a fire? Never!
He would have bought it, Helen.
I'm telling ya, maybe not today, maybe not next year;
but it would have happened. All right? He's my brother.
I couldn't just--
You just couldn't live with that.
Take the top off.
That's it. That's it.
Son-of-a-bitch! This guy is different. He don't love fire.
- Who? - The killer.
He used magnesium to make it look like an accident.
I got it after we went to see Ronald.
Torchers want to fry the whole goddamn world.
But the fires that killed those guys never burned up that much.
The trychtichlorate hid the magnesium in the plug, but it burned slow.
And he made his burns backdrafts.
- But he killed these guys. - Could have killed everybody.
Backdraft blew out the flame. That's it. That's the reason.
- What reason? - Why backdrafts.
Whoever fried Seagrave and Cosgrove...
went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure they died by fire.
They also made sure that the fire blew itself out.
So that's why they used the putty in the doors.
What do we got? A torch with a conscience?
No. We got a stone killer trying to make a point.
You can make the call now. It's arson, right?
I'm not calling anyone yet.
You can't rush this. l've seen it too many times before.
I wanna make sure this torch doesn't walk.
We're gonna wait.
Well, well, Mr. McCaffrey.
- Welcome aboard. - Nice boat you got here.
What? You mean mine?
Well, not yet. Glad to have you as part of the team, Brian.
Let's get a picture with Mr. McCaffrey and myself.
You look good. Yeah, there you go.
Yeah, have fun now. Great night, isn't it?
Who is that?
- Larry Dewaay. - Come on. Larry, how are ya?
- Yeah. - How's the job going?
- Okay. - Yeah?
- Is Rimgale getting any better? - Rimgale's Rimgale.
-He's just doing his job. -Doing his job? He hasn't done anything.
At this rate, he won't declare it's arson before he retires.
Will you get me out of here? Otherwise I'll have to go pick her up.
This is it, one of the oldest fire stations in the city.
What do you think?
- It's homey.
The guys are sleeping upstairs. You're gonna get me in trouble.
This is my office. lmpressive, huh?
Yes, it's very nice.
Lot of tradition locked up in this old house.
See those doors?
They lead to the hay loft when they used to have the old horse-drawn engines.
Lot different then.
But kind of the same, you know?
Do you miss it?
You seem like you do.
Well, when I came back,
I, uh-- I knew.
I knew that I really wanted to be a fireman.
Then why'd you quit?
Well, I should have said I wanted to be a good one.
So show me your fire truck.
Mask up, lads. Bring that sledge.
Where is it?
I don't know. There's alarms goin' off on three floors.
This alarm system's been screwing up since they built--
- ? ? - Yeah.
How do we know if the floor's gonna be on fire?
Well, when the doors open,
if it's hot,
- don't get out.
We're gonna start on this side. I'll meet you down at the end.
- All right, come on. Come on. - High-rise gigs give me the creeps.
Bull, we're early on this one again...
and it ain't even broke out yet. We're one short with Brian gone.
- Wait for the next-in engines. - Let's catch it before it breaks out.
- You want to learn something? - Yeah, I do.
Axe, go with Pengelly. Take the other side.
-Don't split us up again. It ain't safe. -I haven't got time for this.
- Then let me take the lead. - Do your job; they need a line.
Come on. Come on, Axe.
Oh, you're so very sly; but, so am l.
She's hot and smoky...
but she's not rollin' yet.
Hello, . You follow in the truck.
South Clark. It's a cancel.
- South Clark. - What time is it, anyway?
All right, take it.
Wait, wait. Make sure you check it first.
- Howdy, boys. - Brian!
- Here we go. Now get that mask back on. - Right.
Check that door for heat, Tim?
Watch out, Steve. I got him. Move off.
Put it out!
Get the goddamn stretcher.
Everybody over here. Through here. Through here.
Get that stretcher over here.
What the hell happened? Oh, my God! Tim!
Tim! How'd it happen?
Breathe, Tim, breathe.
Get him in there!
- You're all right. - Come on! Hang on, kid!
- Hey, Shadow, I got one here. - Oh, Christ.
Some guy named Holcomb.
Steve, you all right?
- How is he? - He's alive.
- Is he gonna make it? - They're not saying.
He's in there.
I'm sorry. You can't come in now.
Please stay outside.
I should have been there.
None of us should have been there, Brian.
Don't tell me about the chance I'm taking.
- You were costing me time. - You didn't wait for back-up.
- You were wrong. - What the hell is your problem?
- This part of your investigation? - You had to do it.
You had to be myth man, taking another fire bare-handed...
-instead of looking out for your probie. -We need space.
- Is that what happened? - I had that fire. He didn't listen.
He's a candidate, your responsibility.
You shouldn't have had him up there in the first place.
You burned him, Stephen.
- Fuck you. - Don't you walk away from me.
Yo, Brian. Let's go.
Goddamn it! Get him off!
Loosen up! You're just making things worse.
- Relax. Forget about it. - Come on. Come on.
- lnspector. - Alderman.
Chinese sponge cake?
When are you gonna catch the prick that's doing this, Don?
- Don? - Don't you have any leads?
No, Marty, I don't.
We haven't found any connection between the victims at all.
Jesus Christ. Open your eyes.
You got Seagrave, Cosgrove...
- and now Holcomb. - Holcomb?
Put 'em together. It's a goddamn list.
I didn't know the name of that victim had been released.
- Hey, John. - Morning.
I'll do whatever you want me to do.
I want to help you nail that son-of-a-bitch that burned Tim.
Show me how.
Thought old Marty was acting a little strange.
He's right. There's residue.
Holcomb is the third victim.
The backdraft was set up somewhere in there.
Fried Holcomb when he opened the inner door.
But the outer door held and it waited for Tim.
ln a word, Brian,
what is this job all about?
It's a living thing, Brian.
It breathes, it eats,
and it hates.
The only way to beat it...
is to think like it;
to know this flame will spread this way across the door...
and up across the ceiling;
not because of the physics of flammable liquids,
but because it wants to.
Some guys, fire owns 'em. Makes 'em fight it on its level.
But the only way to truly kill it...
is to love it a little, just like Ronald.
- Hi. - Hi.
- I heard your friend's gonna be okay. - Thanks.
We checked and your boss was partners...
with all the murder victims in a company called Lakeside Dynamics.
He's keeping that a secret. I wanna know why.
- I don't know anything about that. - You might be able to find out.
- Get me his files. - Do you know what you're asking?
Four years ago I was punching a cash register.
Two years ago, Marty Swayzak didn't even know my name.
I was bringing the guy coffee.
I practically run that office now.
And Marty-- He believes in me.
I just don't--
You're asking me to throw that all away.
Your boss is a liar.
I'm sorry, Helen. I just couldn't sleep.
Well, what's wrong?
It used to be real clear.
When I was a kid,
what meant most to me about this job was...
Somebody called the fire department, we came.
We just showed up.
Those guys, they just don't know how much I love 'em.
You don't leave people hangin'.
It holds everything up, doesn't it?
I don't get it.
"Till death do us part." Isn't that what you heard, Helen?
You go, we go. It's all the same...
piece of shit without that, isn't it?
It's the end of everything.
I'm sorry I came.
There's just nobody I can talk to.
I really miss you.
You sure you really want to put grape jelly in the eggs?
Yeah, it's part of my formula. It's an experiment.
- It's an experiment? - Yeah.
Let's get these eggs going.
- Hey, I want to do that. - Can you do it?
I'll put that in the formula.
- You gonna leave the shells? - Yeah.
- They're part of the formula? - Yeah.
I guess you know what you're doing.
- I know what I'm doing.
I didn't know you'd be up so early.
Mom, go back to bed. We're making you breakfast in bed.
- Stephen, can I talk to you a minute? - Yeah.
You keep going there. You're doing good.
He knows what he's doin'.
He told me he likes those piano lessons you got him taking.
It's just I don't want to confuse him, you know.
I knew who you were when we got married.
I knew how you did things.
I mean, you haven't--
I just can't anymore.
I just-- you know,
I gotta worry about Sean.
- Yeah. - I mean, you're the best.
You really are.
But the chances that you take just--
You scare me now.
Listen, I, uh--
I blew it.
I forgot that I gotta work this morning.
That's all right. We'll just do it again next Saturday.
- All right? - Mom's crying.
The latest polls came in, Marty.
Jesus Christ, Marty.
What's going on?
We have a city planners meeting in minutes.
You've gotta leveI with me, Marty.
Is there something about these deaths you're not telling me?
- What's this? - Just take it.
Rimgale's gonna wanna talk to Swayzak about this.
- That's a dumb thing to say. - You're right.
What the hell you do with this thing?
What do you mean? I drove it, Joe.
This is a copy of Swayzak's report that we know is bullshit;
but we could never argue with the numbers because they're airtight.
This file she gave you proves it's phoney.
I checked on the firm that recommended the cuts to Swayzak's task force.
They've done exactly one job, a manpower study.
I checked further and it's not even a company. No employees... nothing.
- Just a P.O. box. - I wonder who wrote that report.
- Someone who knows how to work numbers. - Exactly.
Like a bunch of dead financial wizards.
- Seagrave, Holcomb, Cosgrove-- - And Swayzak.
Why did he go through this trouble to cut firehouses?
When a firehouse closes, Swayzak converts it into a community center.
- That's sweet. - Lakeside Dynamics, remember them?
They get all the expensive construction work.
I'm telling you, this is a total scam.
These guys were making a ton of money.
It's time we had a little talk with Mr. Swayzak. Let's go.
Gas. Check in there.
Come on. Come on!
- Let's go. Come on!
- Hey, kid.
I think l've got a problem here.
Is it true that you were rescued by the fire department's arson team?
That's quite a bunch of guys, huh?
I'm so goddamn helpless here.
I can't do a fucking thing.
- What do you want me to do? - l've been lying here thinkin'.
For hours... thinkin' and thinkin' and thinkin'.
We're close. We're close.
But we're not lookin' in the right place,
not in the right place.
So, you've come to pick Ronald's brains...
because nobody knows the animal like Ronald.
It must've looked like it was going to be...
a medium deal, didn't it, when your father bought it?
Did you watch him when he made that ballsy jump and saved--
I didn't come to talk about my father.
I sent away for a copy of that "Life" with your picture on the cover.
It's a collectible.
- Who's doing this, Ronald? - Wrong question.
It isn't a spark, is it? Because there isn't enough damage...
and he wouldn't have had any fun.
It isn't an insurance pro because there isn't any profit.
- Who does that leave us with? - What's his tool?
How does he do it? How does he talk to the fire?
- The outlets. - No.
That's a probie. That's beneath you, Brian.
Very good. Very good.
You still haven't put it together?
- I have. - Then who, Ronald?
You wanna know who?
I wanna know...
if this kid really wanted to be...
just like his dad.
I'm outta here.
All right! I wanted to be him, okay?
I wanted to be him more than anything.
You loved him.
You watched him dance with the animal. You saw your dad burn.
Fuck you, Ronald! Who the hell's doin' this?
Did it look at you?
Did the fire look at you?
Our worlds aren't that far apart, are they?
whoever did this really knows the animal well, don't they?
They know him real well but they won't let him loose.
They won't let him have fun so they don't love him.
Who doesn't love fire...
and is around trychtichlorate all day long?
Oh, my God!
That wasn't such a long walk after all, was it?
Oh, my God.
Goddamn it, Stephen.
Hey, what's goin' on?
I just came by to see how you were doing.
How am I doin'?
Well, I'm sellin' Dad's boat.
Guy comin' by in a few minutes to take a look at it.
What are you gonna do?
I mean, where you going?
I didn't say I was goin' anywhere.
Look, I gotta-- I gotta get back.
- There's somethin' I'm supposed to do. - What?
What do you gotta do?
Look at you.
Look at your face! All the things you must be thinkin'.
You really hate my guts, don't you?
You know something, Brian? That's all right.
- Maybe we should talk about it-- - You don't like me...
because I was no genius in the way I raised you. Is that it?
Dad was gone! What was I supposed to do?
- You tell me. - Forget it. It's okay.
I tried. I wanted so many things for you...
that I couldn't even hope for.
Because after that, I had no choices!
Well, I'm not your father.
You got somewhere to go, go.
People change, huh, Brian?
Sometimes right when you're lookin' at 'em.
What's going on with you?
I don't know.
I gotta go.
Attention, all units responding.
This is gonna be a hazardous materials response at a chemical plant.
- Stephen? Has Stephen gotten back yet? - He just pulled up.
- Is it Adcox? - How do you know?
I didn't until you came to the boat lookin' for those chemicals.
- Lookin' for me. - What were they doing on the boat?
Axe gave 'em to me. They're cleaning shit.
- We gotta roll! - I'll be there in a minute.
I gotta go to Rimgale with this.
- They're pullin' a box. - I'll be there!
- Stephen! - Wait! I'm his lieutenant.
I'll handle it.
Are you a part of this?
That's the only thing I am sure of anymore.
Bull, we need you.
Get out of the way!
- You all right? - You all right, Peng?
- Everybody all right? - You okay?
Yeah. Help me out.
- I don't know. - Shit!
- Where's ? - 's on the roof.
Mask up. We got a chemical fire.
We're pullin' the plug.
Everybody off the roof, now!
- Jesus Christ, Axe. - You don't understand.
My cousin, Sally, used to work at Swayzak's office.
She saw the files. She saw what he did.
- You set me up with those chemicals? - I'm tryin' to explain.
- Stephen. - You back off!
- Axe. - Somebody had to stop these pricks.
- Are you thinkin'? You burned people! - You didn't see.
- You're a fireman. - When Sally showed me Swayzak's files--
- I should've let you in on it. - ln on murder?
Those assholes were closin' firehouses, gettin' our friends killed for money.
- I had to do it for the department! - For Tim?
- That was an accident. - Did you start that fire?
Why'd you have to go in there so fucking early?
That's why you wanted me to wait.
- Let me finish Swayzak! - No. It's over.
Your dad would puke if he saw how you shit on his department.
- What would he say about what you do? - Your dad died...
saving my life, and these people were killin' firemen for money.
- Swayzak. - He killed our friends for money.
What the fuck would you do?
You're his lieutenant. You've gotta handle this.
Get to the side! It's gonna go!
! Somebody! I'm in the elevator shaft.
- Brian! - Stephen!
I'm burning up in here!
- You all right? - Yeah. You all right?
Come on. We gotta go get him.
We gotta get outta here. The whole place is goin' up.
Look out! Come on. This way.
Wait a minute. Brian!
I just couldn't let it go, Bull.
- I got ya.
Let me go, Bull.
You go... we go.
Don't move, damn it.
- What? - Just lie down.
Pengelly, up here!
Did you hear somebody? Stephen!
- Pengelly! - Up here!
- Where's he at? - Over there!
We're gonna get you outta here. Lay down. Don't move.
Pengelly, I lost the line.
I'm going for the hose.
- Go! - All right, move it!
Look at him.
That's my brother, goddamn it.
How is he? Is he okay?
- Let's move it. Let's go. - Hang on.
Let's move it, now!
- Up with him! - Come on.
- All right, Bull. - He's gonna make it.
I gotta get this collar on. Come on. Help us out.
I don't want it.
Don't tell them about Adcox. Don't let them.
- It'll hurt the department. - I won't.
- Monitor on. - I'm sorry. I thought--
B.P.: over .
I'm sorry I ever thought you--
- I-- I beat it. - Blood pressure: over .
The fire never got me.
Hang in there.
- You're gonna make it!
- Is he going to be all right? - He's spiking!
Who's your brother, Brian?
You are, Stephen.
I'm tired of hearing the sirens.
Turn... turn the siren off, Brian.
Turn the siren off.
You're gonna be all right, goddamn it!
Hang in! Let's go! Move this thing.
Don't you die on me now. You hear me?
Hang in there. We're almost there.
It's not your time now. I need you.
You're gonna make it.
Starting compression. One, two, three, four, five.
One, two, three, four, five.
One, two, three, four, five.
ln the Chicago fire department...
the alarm code - - signifies...
that the company has returned home to quarters.
We will now ring out that code to welcome home...
Firefighter John Adcox and Lieutenant Stephen McCaffrey.
Honor guard, hand salute!
Honor guard, dismissed!
Gentlemen, can we help you?
Police. We have a subpoena for Alderman Swayzak.
- Ah, lnspector-- - Alderman Swayzak, how are you doin'?
- This will only take a minute. - I'm in a press conference.
These detectives would like to question you why you secretly paid...
Donald Cosgrove, Jeffrey Holcomb, and Alan Seagrave...
to create a phoney manpower study.
Ask him who made money off firemen dying.
You see that glow flashing in the corner of your eye?
That's your career dissipation light.
It just went into high gear.
I'll have my aides look into it as soon as they can. Thank you.
Mr. Alderman has no further comment. This conference is over.
... West Maplewood.
West Maplewood. Got it, Cap?
Okay, into the truck. Code .
We're gonna be damn busy.
You're doin' it wrong!