Chicago firefighters killed in massive 1985 Logan Square blaze honored with renovated mural

ByKaren Jordan and Megan Hawkins WLS logo
Sunday, July 9, 2023
Firefighters killed in massive 1985 blaze honored with renovated mural
Chicago Fire Department firefighters Daniel Nockels, Michael Forchione and Michael Talley were killed in massive 1985 Logan Square blaze.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gone, but not forgotten.

Heroes of the Chicago Fire Department were killed in a massive fire on Milwaukee Avenue in February 1985.

On Sunday, their community gave back, remembering their sacrifice. Captain Daniel Nockels and Firefighters Michael Forchione and Michael Talley were honored with a renovated mural at a park at Diversey, Kimball, and Milwaukee avenues, just down the street from where the deadly fire broke out.

"Thirty-eight years, five months, eight days. For those of us who survived the tragedy of that frigid cold night, the space of time is hard to comprehend," said Firefighter Paul Nockels, the son of Daniel Nockels. "I miss my father every day."

The original mural was painted in the mid-1980s and retouched in the early 2000s. South Shore artist Damon Lamar Reed was commissioned for the new version.

"As an artist, for me, this is what it's all about: uplifting people and using art to change lives," Reed said.

Michael Forchione went to work on his 29th birthday and never returned home. His children, just babies when their father died, joined their mother, Cynthia Forchione, at the podium on Sunday as she thanked her husband's fellow firefighters and the community for their unwavering support.

"They learned about their father not only from me, but from all of you. The love that you give our family, continue to give our family, is what caused us to survive. This 88-day old baby is now a Chicago firefighter," Cynthia said while pointing to her son.

Chiquita Talley, the widow of Michael Talley, also spoke at the event.

"We appreciate the love and everything we have received from the city of Chicago, the fire department especially, and the mayor's office," Chiquita said. "It's just a pleasure to be out here and to see this many people still coming out and doing things and acknowledging us.

"May all who enjoy this park, please never forget those that have gave that ultimate sacrifice and gone ahead of us," said Truck 58 Lieutenant James Hampe with Firefighters Local 2.