Thank You To The Anonymous Source Who Contributed The Missing Locations Of The Garment Fire Location And The Chicken Location Plus Added Some Of The Interior Locations From The Movie.  The Interior Locations Are Listed At The Bottom Of The Page.
Thank You To Owen From The When Write Is Wrong Website For Finding Alderman Marty Swayzak's House

  • (0:01) Main Firestation / 3002 W. 42nd Street, Chicago

  • (0:02) Going Under The El On The Way To The Fire / They Are Traveling West On W. Leland Avenue And Turn South Onto N. Broadway, Chicago

  • (0:03) Apartment Building Fire In Flashback / 410 E. 43rd Street, Chicago

  • (0:06) Bar After Graduation / Emmits Irish Pub; 495 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

  • (0:08) Man Gets Blown Into Porche / 4244 S. Drexel Blvd, Chicago

  • (0:14) Helen McCaffrey's House / 2834 N. Merrimac Avenue, Chicago

  • (0:16) Bull's Boathouse / S. Lumber Street And S. Canal Street, Chicago

  • (0:18) Brian McCaffrey's Apartment / Roughly 1505 N. Wicker Park Avenue, Chicago (Note: His Apartment Was Next To The El On N. Honore Street)

  • (0:20) Garment Warehouse Fire / Chicago Evangelical Hospital; 5401 S. Morgan Street, Chicago (Note: The Building Has Since Been Torn Down And Has Been Replaced With New Houses. The House Seen In The First Screen Shot Is Still Standing At 938 W. 54th Street)

  • (0:49)  The Firemen Gathering Up The Live Chickens After A Traffic Accident / N. Canal Street And W. Fulton Street, Chicago (Note: The Camera Is Looking Southeast)

  • (0:51)  The Building Where The McCaffrey Brothers Race To The Top Of The Stairs With The Hose / 4317 S. Paulina Street, Chicago (Note: This Building Has Since Been Torn Down. The Building In The First Screen Shot Is On The Southwest Corner Of S. Paulina Street And W. 43rd Street. The Building That Has A Long Green Roof Seen Between The Brothers Is Located On S. Paulina Street About Five Houses Down From The Corner Building)

  • (0:52) The Save My Baby Fire / E. 50th Street And S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago (Note: The Building Has Since Been Torn Down)

  • (0:57) Chinatown Firestation / 212 W. Cermak Road, Chicago

  • (1:05) Theatre / Uptown Theatre; 4816 N. Broadway, Chicago

  • (1:15) Highrise Fire / 190 S. Lasalle Street, Chicago

  • (1:36) Alderman Marty Swayzak's House  /  306 1st Street, Hinsdale

  • (1:49) The Firetruck Falls Over And Skids Along The Road / S. Jefferson Street and S. Lumber Street, Chicago

  • (1:50) Final Fire Along The River / 455 W. Cermak Road, Chicago (Note: The Building Has Since Been Torn Down)

  • (2:04) Funeral Procession Parade / N. Michigan Avenue Going Over The Chicago River, Chicago (Note: They Are Traveling South)

  • (2:06) Cemetery / Graceland Cemetery; 4001 N. Clark Street, Chicago

  • (2:11) Going To The Fire As The Credits Come Up / West Chicago And N. Lawndale Avenue, Chicago (Note: They Are Heading East On Chicago Avenue)

    (The Interior Locations)

  • The Prison Scenes With Donald Sutherland / St. Annes Hospital; 4900 W. Thomas Street, Chicago (Note: The 6th Floor Was Used)

  • The Hospital Where The Brothers Fight / The Edgewater Hospital; 5700 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago (Note: The Hospital Has Since Closed)

  • The Retirement Party / Wozniak's Hall; 2530 S. Blue Island Avenue, Chicago (Note: The Building Has Since Been Torn Down)

  • Swayzak's Office Building / 325 N. Wells Street, Chicago


  1. Backdraft is one of my favorite movies and I enjoy looking at pictures of the filming locations.

    I have two questions:

    When you mention the Garment fire/old St. Anne's hospital and the "Save my baby fire", are they at the same location?

    Do you know the location of the scene prior to the end credits when the fire engines are driving straight towards the Chicago skyline in the end credits?

    I would appreciate the info.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for the nice comments. I hope to add more pictures for this movie soon.

      To answer your questions I found the ending street for you (Chicago Avenue) and added it to the site. The save my baby fire and the garment factory fire are in two different locations.

  2. Chas,

    I caught this movie on TV the other day. Hadn't seen it in years. Good movie. Anyway, after watching I immediately went to your site to see if you had this film listed and, of course, you did. Sweet! Thing is, I'm surprised you have no listing (or even a mention of, along with a "Still searching for this location") for the house where Swayzak (J.T. Walsh) lived. This is the place where Donald (Robert DeNiro) got impaled on the fence out front. Have you ever searched for and/or found this place? A house number is visible in the movie; it's 306.


  3. I was just wondering where is the fire house that Brian runs to after his car won't start?


    1. It is the main firehouse or the first one I mentioned. It would have been a very long run though.

    2. In scenes that were filmed but cut - Brian actually catches the El (filmed at)at the Madison and Wells station. then arrives on a run to work - late.

  4. The final scene where the fire truck pulls out of the station for the last time in the movie, it appears to pull out on a big boulevard. If you look at the fire station location at S Sacramento Ave & W 42nd St on google maps, the street looks completely different. Is this because of new construction in the area over the lat 20 years, or is it a simple movie edit?


    1. The shot of the fire truck pulling out of the station and the shot through the fire truck's windshield are two different locations.

  5. Just wondering if anyone knew the bar or club brian was at when swayzak got his picture taken with him and the fat chic fell off the chair?

    1. That was on a boat on the Chicago River.

  6. A firefighter buddy and I were poking around in the building on Cermak used for the Chemical Plant fire. We found a building right across the alley from there that was also abandoned. It was the building used for the Garment Factory. We found the hole cut in the floor for the "You Go, We Go" scene. We also found a trash bag full of scripts and screen shot paperwork, which I still have to this day.

    1. Would you be willing to part with one? My father is a firefighter, I loved watching this movie with him, I am visiting this weekend...

  7. bmollenhauer, would you be interested ingetting rid of that stuff? I am looking for any photos or memoribila from this movie. Please email me at if you would like to get rid of any of that stuff.Thank you very much,92fspx4

  8. Locker room scenes were shot on the second floor of an unused firehouse at 14th and Michigan in Chicago. It is now the Chicago Firehouse restaurant.

    The party boat with Swayzak was The Spirit of Chicago which is berthed at Navy Pier.

    Fire Department repair shops was located at 31st and Sacramento in Chicago but has since been relocated to Fleet Maintenance a huge facility at North and Throop in Chicago.

    Roof caving in scene was shot on the roof of a parking garage at The South Loop Marketplace at Roosevelt and Clinton in Chicago. This location has been demolished.

    Elevator Shaft scene was a set built and slowly lowered into the Main North High School pool at 9511 West Harrison in DesPlaines, IL.

    Interiors for the chemical factory, Stephen carrying kid out of fire, office fire that burned Tim and a few others were done at the Chicago Studio City located at 5660 West Taylor in Chicago. The building that housed the actual fire scenes has been torn down because of unsafe conditions.

    The interior of the Chinatown firehouse (De Niro office) was an out of service fire house located at 43rd and Paulina.

  9. I'm pretty sure the final scene leaving the station before credits is at chicago and lamon, not chicago and lawndale. 4900 w. chicago.

  10. The chemical fire was filmed at the old Cuneo Press bldg.,which was the scene of a major 5-11 fire on April 14,1989.The fireboat used was the Joseph Medill,Engine 37,which now is a stripped hulk in Escanaba,Mi.

  11. The elevator shaft scene was shot in the high dive well of Rehm Pool in Oak Park! The scene was built over the top. As the fall weather had gotten much cooler the week of filming, the crew needed to put hot packs atop the water. Outstanding crew & cast! Fabulous Chicago film!!!

    Suzanne Vestuto
    Retired Staff Liaison
    Village of Oak Park

  12. Any idea if the fierfighter uniforms that were worn were made buy rubin brothers?

  13. they were made by rubin brothers ... I heard they filmed the elevator at rhem pool in oak park also .

  14. Check out all these behind the scenes pictures from the set of Backdraft provided by the screenwriter himself! Great on location shots.

  15. Media is reporting that one of the fire stations used in filming has burned down today. The address given is 1401 S. Michigan Ave but that's not one of them shown on this page. When, if at all, was this firehouse used in the movie?

    1. I believe it was some interiors faked from the main fire station or from the interiors for the Chinatown scenes. It is too bad it caught fire.

    2. The 1401 Station was where Brian points out the old hayloft and is with Jennifer.

  16. I can say this is the perfect blog for everybody who read and post here everyday. I don't know why I always visit here maybe its so nice to read here a interesting topics all day.
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  17. Do you have any shots of the scenes filmed at St. Anne's? The hospital closed in 1988, but I went to school there and worked there for a few years so I'd be interested in seeing the shots.

    The main building is still on 4950 W Thomas, but it is a retirement home now.

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  19. Backdraft is I think on of the coolest movies. Cause it reminds me that there are Men & Women out there everyday saveing life's and putting theirs on the line to save others........

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  21. The closing scenes inside the engine as it travels on a boulevard were filmed along Douglas Boulevard between Kedzie & Homan. The film then moves to an aeriel that filmed on Chicago Avenue.