NBC 5 Responds

Chicago Fire Department Apologizes After NBC 5 Responds' Report About Damaged Car

A Chicago driver whose car was damaged almost a year ago said the most disturbing part of the incident wasn't how her car was crashed, but who crashed into it.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A North Side Chicago driver is preparing to get back on the road after she said damage to her car almost a year ago by a Chicago Fire Department crew in a city firetruck sidelined her ability to drive.

After NBC 5 Responds first reported the story in May, CFD employees have since paid a visit to the driver to apologize.

Ann, who asked NBC 5 to withhold her last name for privacy concerns, found the surveillance video that proved who hit her car.

She said she was stunned to see what the video revealed. On July 5, 2020, CFD Truck 36 is seen clearly backing into Ann’s parked car.

The video showed crew members get out of the truck, appear to inspect the damage to Ann's car, then get back in and move the truck forward. Shortly after, the video shows Ann emerging from her apartment. She says she asked the crew if they saw the crash or were there to respond to it. 

"Nope. They said they were just there to patrol for fireworks. … They said they did not see anything to do with my car,” Ann told NBC 5. She said she fully believed them and then thanked them for their service to the community.  

Then she found the surveillance video, at a business located right underneath her apartment. That video stunned her and made clear how her car was damaged. 

"It all made sense then," she said. "I knew I was looking for a tall vehicle, because it just jammed up my whole hood and scraped above the grill. I thought I was looking for a pickup truck … not a fire truck!” 

Fast-forward months later, when Ann's damage claim submitted to the city was still not paid, and Ann was up against a pending one-year statute of limitations. That’s when she reached out to NBC 5 Responds.

After our first report aired, a CFD spokesperson said the surveillance video “speaks for itself.”

But he added that crew members wanted to apologize and help Ann be made whole for her loss. They collected $500 and delivered it to her. That visit was also aimed at rebuilding trust, he said.  

Ann tells us the CFD visit accomplished that mission. Her interaction with the Chicago Law Department and its claims process, however, not so much. Did it leave a bad taste in her mouth? 

"Oh, 100%. 100%," she said. "It really was the last straw."

Ann and her fiancé say they are planning to move from the city, in large part thanks to this experience.

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