Undercover Fireman Infiltrates Three-Alarm Blaze

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Undercover Fireman Infiltrates Three-Alarm Blaze

CHICAGO—Plainclothes firefighter Rick Dodd, 32, was commended Tuesday for his successful monthlong operation to infiltrate and eventually expose a three-alarm blaze at a downtown Chicago warehouse. "The fire had spread to the upstairs by the time I arrived, so I cozied up to it, played the game, and tried not to arouse any suspicion until I had gathered the information I needed to bring back to the chief," said Dodd, adding that his cover was nearly blown a week into the investigation when a neighbor arrived and began throwing buckets of water onto the porch. "When things started to get too hot for me in there, I showed my badge, drew my concealed fire extinguisher, and called in for backup." Dodd was last honored in 2005 after completing a two-week stakeout of a kitten stuck in a tree, though the animal died of dehydration.

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