Nation: Burning Threat

Striking firemen in Chicago

The danger was clear, present and ominous: 90% of Chicago's firemen were on strike. How did the nation's second largest city (pop. 3.5 million) cope with the emergency? With ingenuity, a stub born we'11-get-by persistence, a small army of willing, if nastily trained substitutes — and just plain good luck. At week's end Chicago had survived 17 days of the strike without a major disaster.

The crisis began when the Chicago Fire Fighters Union became locked in an angry, name-calling feud with strong-willed Mayor Jane Byrne. Richard Daley, her predecessor, had kept the firemen content by raising their pay...

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