‘Chicago Fire’s David Eigenberg Herrmann & Cruz Must ‘Make Some Hard Decisions’

David Eigenberg Chicago Fire Christopher Hermann
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Adrian Burrows/NBC

“Firefighters like what they call a ‘good fire,’ where nobody gets hurt,” says David Eigenberg, aka Lt. Chris Herrmann, a fan favorite on the NBC drama. This week’s conflagration in an industrial storage facility is not that.

Things go bad quickly, starting when Herrmann and fellow firefighter Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) get stuck in an elevator with two civilians. “They have to do their best to pull together,” Eigenberg says, which isn’t easy when one person is having a meltdown, another is injured, and there’s too much weight in the car. Herrmann and Cruz “have to make some hard decisions,” the Chicago Fire actor reveals. “It comes down to risk versus reward.”

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Though we follow the rest of the team, one of whom is also in grave danger, much of the warehouse action takes place in the stalled elevator. “[One day] we shot 12 hours and really got beat up. It was hot and smoky, and our characters were fighting a battle of physical intensity. At the end of the shoot, my [clothing] was soaked all the way through to my socks, and I had to apologize to our lovely wardrobe lady because it all smelled so bad.”

Making it tougher, Eigenberg adds, “the elevator wasn’t just a box on the floor — it did stuff! We have a lot of ups and downs, literally, in the elevator. Even the crew came up and said, ‘That was intense!'”

Chicago Fire, Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC