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The Most Devastating Deaths on Chicago Fire Across All 11 Seasons

Chi-Hards still carry a torch for these beloved characters who were taken before their times.

By Jessica White

The stakes are always high on Chicago Fire: The Firehouse 51 firefighters have to take whatever call comes their way, and constantly put their lives on the line for their fellow Chicagoans.

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Occasionally, one of them pays the ultimate price. 

The squad never backs down from a rescue mission, but their tear-jerking sacrifices and personal heartbreaks have been devastating to the characters and One Chicago fans alike. After 11 white-knuckling seasons, look back on 11 of the most heart-shattering Chicago Fire deaths.

Warning: This piece contains references to suicide and self-harm.

Andy Darden died fighting a fire

Andy Darden (Corey Sorenson) was the first-ever Chicago Fire death: He was killed in the line of duty after he ignored his lieutenant's orders to fall back, having failed to establish ventilation during a massive house fire. His passing — which occurred before we ever saw a title card for Chicago Fire — was at the top of every firefighter's mind in Season 1, Episode 1 ("Pilot").

RELATED: 5 Times Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney's Friendship Was Too Perfect

Darden was a best friend to firefighters Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer), both of whom shouldered some blame for the firefighter's death. 

Though Darden died in Chicago Fire's debut episode, the impact of his passing created a ripple effect that's still felt many seasons later. In Chicago Fire Season 9 and Season 10, we saw Casey leave Firehouse 51 to help take care of the two sons Darden left behind following his tragic death. 

Hallie Thomas was murdered

Dr. Hallie Thomas (Teri Reeves) had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Casey for eight years when the show started, and the couple's engagement was chronicled in Season 1 of Chicago Fire. Before either of them could get to their wedding day, Hallie discovered the clinic she worked within was involved in a corrupt drug ring.

Her seedy superiors took measures to guarantee Hallie wouldn't speak up, and she was beaten into unconsciousness and left to die in a devastating clinic fire in Season 1, Episode 22 ("Leaders Lead").

RELATED: 6 Heartbreaking Deaths on Chicago P.D. That Fans Are Still Mourning

Firehouse 51 got a call about the clinic being on fire, leading Casey to rush there in hopes of saving Hallie — but they found her unresponsive and severely burned, and she didn't survive the harrowing ordeal. Hallie's death was incredibly formative to Casey's character, and the investigation led the firefighters to the CPD's Intelligence Unit, sparking the creation of Chicago P.D. 

Rebecca Jones died via suicide

Rebecca (Daisy Betts) came from a family of Chicago firefighters, and was introduced to Firehouse 51 as a potential candidate in Season 2, Episode 11 ("Shoved In My Face"). She became quick friends with Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund), who was considering transitioning from paramedic to firefighter at the time. Dawson learned that Rebecca's father was a senior in the CFD and strongly opposed his daughter's goal of becoming a firefighter due to the sexist belief that women shouldn't be in the field. 

After discovering her father had no intention of approving her graduation from the training program and intended to place her on desk duty, Rebecca was shattered. In Season 2, Episode 18 ("Until Your Feet Leave the Ground"), Rebecca took her own life, leaving a note for Dawson. Rebecca's death was an emotional wake-up call to many Chicago Fire characters and a horrifying testament to the mental health pressures swirling beneath the surface for many first responders. 

Leslie Shay died in a fire

Leslie Shay (Lauren German) in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Leslie Shay (Lauren German) was a Paramedic for Ambulance 61, the best friend of fellow Paramedic Gabby Dawson, and a beloved roommate to Severide.

She was among the crew of Firehouse 51 emergency personnel responding to a huge apartment fire in Season 2, Episode 22 ("Real Never Waits"). The episode ended on a cliff-hanger as Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) watched in horror as an explosion went off and the roof collapsed with Firehouse 51 still inside. In the Season 3 premiere ("Always"), Chicago Fire fans were heartbroken to learn that roof collapse caused a beam to fall and strike Shay in the head, killing her instantly.

Severide and Dawson were particularly traumatized by Shay's gut-wrenching death, but it eventually led Severide to gain interest in Arson Investigation.

Wallace Boden Sr. died of cancer

Wallace Boden Sr. appears in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Wallace Boden Sr. (Richard Roundtree) was a former CPD police officer and the father of Firehouse 51 Chief Wallace Boden.

Chief Boden re-connected with his father after the birth of his own son, Terrence, as part of a compelling four-episode arc that began with in Season 3, Episode 11 ("Let Him Die").

Boden soon learned that his father had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and had a slim hope of finding a successful treatment plan. Boden did everything in his power to convince his father to fight cancer proactively, but Boden Sr. wished to live his life rather than risk dying from intense chemotherapy. 

RELATED: Chicago's Fire's Most Tear-Jerking, Heartfelt Moments

In Season 3, Episode 15 ("Call It Paradise"), Boden Sr. and Christopher Hermann (David Eigenberg) reinstated the semi-annual Winter Luau at Molly's. But after enjoying the festivities as father and son, Boden found his father's body, holding a family photo album.

Boden Sr.'s death was cataclysmic for Firehouse 51's typically fearless commander, who faced first-time fatherhood suddenly fatherless.

Danny Borrelli died in a fire

Danny Borrelli and Jimmy appear in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Danny Borrelli (Andy Ahrens) was the older brother of former Firehouse 51 candidate Jimmy Borrelli (Steven R. McQueen) and a firefighter on Engine 67.

Chicago Fire fans met Danny in Season 4, Episode 1 ("Let It Burn") after he visited Jimmy to tease him about his firefighter candidacy and his choice of Firehouse 51. 

In Season 2, Episode 22 ("Where the Collapse Started"), Danny was part of a team fighting a fire, but then reentered the fire site, thinking he'd heard a noise. There was no one was left inside, but he was then crushed by crumbling debris, prompting an attempt by Jimmy to save him. Boden was forced to pull Jimmy away from the perilous scene, and Danny died. 

Anna Turner died of leukemia

Anna Turner (Charlotte Sullivan) was Severide's girlfriend in Season 5 of Chicago Fire. They met in Season 5, Episode 8 ("One Hundred") after he went to the hospital for a neck injury and learned he was a bone marrow match for a woman — Anna —who had been battling her grim cancer diagnosis for quite some time. The bone marrow donation helped Anna initially, and the chemistry between her and Severide led them to develop a romantic relationship

Sadly, her cancer returned — but Severide stuck with Anna during her last days at the hospital. She died in Season 5, Episode 20 ("Carry Me").

Benny Severide die after a stroke

Bennie Severide (Treat Williams) appears in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Introduced in Season 1, Episode 13 ("Warm and Dead"), Benny Severide (Treat Williams) was a retired battalion chief and a former captain in Arson Investigations with the Chicago Fire Department. He was also Kelly Severide's semi-estranged father and close friends with Chief Boden. 

RELATED: Actor Treat Williams Has Passed Away at 71

Benny had struggled to stay faithful in his romantic relationships, and his cheating lifestyle led Severide to harbor resentment towards his father — though they did connect on several occasions, notably when Benny's daughter and Severide's half-sister sister, Katie Nolan (Brittany Curran), was kidnapped in Season 2

RELATED: Taylor Kinney Opens Up About the Passing of "Father Figure" Treat Williams

However, Benny died in Season 7, Episode 6 ("All The Proof") after suffering from a stroke. The loss left Severide adrift.

Brian "Otis" Zvonecek died in a fire

Chicago Fire Otis Recap4

Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov) was a beloved member of Firehouse 51 from Seasons 1-7 of Chicago Fire, saving dozens of Chicago citizens and extinguishing countless fires throughout his time on the squad. Not only was Otis a cherished crew member as the driver of Firetruck 81, but he was also a co-owner of the One Chicago bar, Molly's, along with Hermann.

In the Season 7 finale ("I'm Not Leaving You"), the crew responded to a fire at Arnow Mattress, but the episode ended on a cliffhanger when a pressure valve exploded. Then, in Season 8, Episode 1 ("Sacred Ground"), viewers learned that a boiler had exploded and sparked a fiery backdraft.

To stem the backdraft and protect the squad from the explosion, Otis slammed a steel door shut, facing the inferno on his own. Despite being rushed to the hospital, Otis didn't survive the extensive injuries he suffered from the rescue.

Seconds before dying, Otis uttered his last words to his best friend and fellow Chicago Fire fan favorite, Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso). In Russian, Otis told Cruz, "Brother, I will be with you always."

As one of Chicago Fire's O.G. firefighters, Otis' death was a gut-punch felt by the entire One Chicago fanbase.

Julie Amelia died in childbirth

Julie Amelia appears in a scene from Chicago Fire.

Julie Amelia (Kelly Deadmon) was the estranged birth mother of paramedic Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), with whom she reconnected during Season 8 after becoming pregnant with Brett's half-sister, Amelia.

Brett grew up never knowing Julie — who had gotten pregnant at age 16 and given her child up for adoption — but the two met in Season 8, Episode 15 ("Off The Grid"). Pregnant with her second child, Julie sought Brett out in the hopes of fostering a healthy connection between her two children. Brett was apprehensive at first, but the two quickly formed a close bond. 

However, Julie didn't survive the birth of her daughter, Amelia, in Season 8, Episode 18 ("I'll Cover You"), and Amelia's father, Scott, was left guilt-stricken by the death, leading him to become convinced he was unfit for fatherhood. Brett was nearly tasked with caring for her newborn half-sister, but helped Scott accept his role instead.

Evan Hawkins died in a fire 

Hawkins in Chicago Fire

Evan Hawkins (Jimmy Nicholas) was a beloved Paramedic Field Chief for the CFD and the boyfriend of Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith). Hawkins was introduced in Season 10, Episode 2 ("Head Count") as a no-nonsense Chief, but quickly struck up a romance with Violet. 

Chief Hawkins and Violet on Chicago Fire

In Season 11, Episode 3 ("Completely Shattered"), Hawkins was addressing a theatre fire when he noticed a victim struggling to evacuate. Hawkins entered to help the victim, but the building collapsed on top of them. Violet did everything she could to resuscitate Hawkins after finding him in the rubble, but it turned out irreparable damage had been done.

Viewers didn't get confirmation of our worst fears until Season 11, Episode 4 ("The Center of the Universe") when it was revealed Hawkins didn't survive the incident. However, the victim Hawkins risked his life to save did survive, so Hawkin's heroism wasn't put to waste. 

Violet was left heartbroken and traumatized by her boyfriend's death but took massive strides in navigating her grief throughout Chicago Fire Season 11.