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Fire Department Goes ‘Old School’ By Fighting Fire With ‘Little Mo’

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little mo 676 pic1 nov16 2012 Fire Department Goes Old School By Fighting Fire With Little Mo

“Little Mo” is more than 30 years old and “tends to rarely get used.” (Credit: Bernie Tafoya/WBBM Newsradio)

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Fire Department dusted off one of its “oldies, but goodies” this morning to pour water on the smoldering remains of an overnight extra alarm fire.

It’s called a “deluge unit.” It looks like a modified pick-up truck with two fixed hose nozzles on the truck bed with inlets for 10 fire hoses on the back of it.

The Fire Department has two of them.

Unit 676 which was at the fire on 87th and Escanaba this morning, and Unit 673 on the Northwest Side.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya Reports

In Chicago fire lore, 676, which is based on 116th and Avenue “O” in the East Side neighborhood, is called “Little Mo.”

A larger unit the fire department had at one time was called “Big John”, according to Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

Lt. Scott White says Unit 676 is more than 30-years old and “tends to rarely get used.”

He says the tower ladder replaced it, for the most part, but he says it still gets called for “wash down” (shooting water at smoldering remains) and factory fires where a lot of water is needed.

little mo pic2 nov16 2012 Fire Department Goes Old School By Fighting Fire With Little Mo

(Credit: Bernie Tafoya/WBBM Newsradio)


Lt. White points out that “Little Mo” is so old, it still has a stick shift.

He says the deluge unit cannot be used without a fire engine, which adjusts the water pressure needed.