Picture it: A warehouse basement engulfed in flames and filled with firefighters staring down a rusty old industrial boiler that's seconds away from blowing. That tense setting is where we pick up with Chicago Fire, which returns for Season 8 on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c on NBC.
Although it's a familiar scene for the Dick Wolf drama, which places its heroic leads in the Windy City's most dangerous and often baffling disasters on a weekly basis, the stakes for this call are particularly high given that Firehouse 51's trapped first responders have no time to brace for that impending explosion, and not everyone will walk away unscathed.
"This one will be different because the effects of the call are gonna be felt for a long time to come," showrunner Derek Haas told TV Guide. "This is not just somebody getting injured. There's some real ramifications that are gonna devastate Firehouse 51 for a while."
To be fair, tragedy is nothing new for Chicago Fire. Season 2 delivered the show's most heartbreaking major death with paramedic Leslie Shay (Lauren German), whose name is currently inscribed on the driver's door of Ambulance 61 in memoriam. In Season 5, Firefighter candidate Jimmy Borelli (Steven R. McQueen) was forced to retire after suffering severe burns to the left side of his face. In more recent years, however, Firehouse 51 had grown accustomed to narrowly escaping death, like that time Otis (Yuri Sardarov) and Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) were shot during a house call and fully recovered.
But don't expect things to turn out that way this time around. By the sounds of it, we're in for a tragic event that will rock the entire firehouse.
See how it all turns out for Truck 81 when Chicago Fire returns for Season 8 on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c on NBC.