Fire department fights warehouse blaze with `Little Mo` - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Fire department fights warehouse blaze with `Little Mo`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The massive warehouse fire in Bridgeport started up again Thursday, prompting firefighters to break out a piece of equipment that hasn't been on the streets in decades.

The Chicago Fire Department's deluge units are the stuff of legend, featured in classic videos. They're mostly out of service nowadays, except for one: Little Mo.

"It is the last of the big pieces of apparatus we have left, there used to be Big John, there used to be Big Mo, and now we have Little Mo," CFD Commander Dan Swift explains.

Firefighters decided to break out Little Mo Thursday morning, after the massive Bridgeport warehouse fire started to burn again.

SEE: South Side warehouse fire biggest since 2006

They were worried that the ice-caked front wall could collapse. Little Mo lets firefighters spray water from farther away, keeping them safer. It's been around for more than 40 years, but firefighters still start it up a few times a week to make sure it runs. No one on the scene could remember the last time it was actually used.

"I've been on the job for 18 years, and it's never been out in my career," Swift says.

Little Mo is an old mac truck from the late 1960s, equipped with two turret water guns and room for up to ten hoses. It pumps up to 5,000 gallons of water a minute, compared to just 1,500 gallons a minute from an engine truck.

"It's one of a kind," Swift says of Little Mo. " It's the last one around, but obviously it's still useful, we can bring it out here today and still make good use of it."

So far, firefighters have poured more than a million gallons of water on that smoldering warehouse. That's enough to fill a pool as big as a football field ten feet deep.

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