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The Worst Fire In Chicago Fire Season 7

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Airing in May 2019, “I’m Not Leaving You” is the last episode on Season 7 of “Chicago Fire.” As the episode progresses, the Firehouse 51 first responders are called out to an especially dangerous conflagration at a mattress factory. With a boiler in the basement threatening to explode, Chief Wallace Boden (Eammon Walker) orders the team to evacuate. Several firefighters, however, refuse to abandon the remaining victims inside, including two fan favorites, Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Brian “Otis” Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov).

As it turns out, Herrmann does make it out alive, but Otis isn’t as fortunate. He sustains injuries that prove too severe to survive, unexpectedly dying in the show’s Season 8 premiere as his heartbroken best friend Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) looks on. Queried in 2019 on TV Line about why Sardarov’s beloved, long-enduring character was selected for this tragic and unanticipated end, showrunner Derek Haas explained it had to do with reminding fans of the series’ deadly serious subject matter. “We gotta put some teeth back into the show,” Hass said at the time, adding, “We gotta show that the dangers are real.” And while the series packs this season with plenty of other emotionally wrenching moments, there’s little doubt that it was the blaze that shockingly takes the life of series regular Otis Zvonecek that ranks as the very worst fire in all of Season 7 on the show.

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