During a recent filming of the hit NBC TV show “Chicago Fire,” at a West Side funeral home, a real fire broke out nearby while a shooting happened just across the street.
The “Chicago Fire” crew was filming a made-for-TV fire scene at the historic A.A. Rayner and Sons Funeral Home, 5911 W. Madison St. in Austin, on Wednesday afternoon when the two real emergencies happened, according to multiple media reports and law enforcement officials.
Police said “an unknown offender, armed with a handgun, shot at a group of people standing” on the 5900 block of W. Madison. The shooting happened at approximately 1:45 p.m.
“No one was struck. The offender fled in a dark color SUV. No one is in custody at this time. Area Four detectives are investigating,” Chicago Police said in a statement.
CWB Chicago, a breaking news outlet, reported that the gunfire erupted while the full cast “was on-scene, and three cameras were rolling,” according to an industry source the outlet quoted.
“Law enforcement officers were already on the scene to provide security for the film set, and one of them called out shots fired on the local police radio channel,” according to CWB Chicago.
Earlier in the day, a real fire happened about a block away, said Charles Childs Jr., the director of A.A. Rayner and Sons.
“A real fire broke out on the 5800 block of W. Madison St., so the real fire department had to respond to that,” Childs. Jr. said.
He said he did not witness the shooting or the fire and did not have an exact time when the fire may have happened. Attempts to contact representatives with the Chicago Fire Department on Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.
“Thankfully, nobody got hurt in the real fire, the pretend fire or during the shooting,” Childs. Jr. said.
A.A Rayner and Sons is a community institution and has locations on the West and South sides. The West Side chapel was the site of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton’s wake in 1969. And A.A. Rayner’s founder, A.A. Rayner Sr., was a South Side alderman from 1967 to 1971 and buried former Chicago mayor Harold Washington.
Childs Jr. said the West Side chapel is no stranger to film productions.
“We’ve had other film scenes here,” he said. “They’ve filmed TV shows, movies, documentaries – all without a problem.”