Firefighter predicts his own death leaving handprint behind

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Back in 1924, a rather strange occurrence took place. A helpful soul he was, Francis “Frank” Leavy was a firefighter for Engine Company #107 located near the west side of Chicago. Francis went through some of his usual routines that day, however he felt a bit off and his co-workers took notice of this. His typical personality seemed a bit peculiar on April 18, 1924.

Ghostly handprint

Francis was working on some routine maintenance, cleaning up around the fire engine house—when his demeanor changed. He wandered over towards one of the windows and was washing it. Suddenly, he stopped and leaned against the window. It was during this moment, when several other firefighters took notice of him and what he then said. He told them he had a really bad feeling, like he was going to die soon and this day would be his last.

Later in the evening, at around 7:30 PM someone driving by, noticed smoke coming from Curran Hall. This building stood four stories high and was located at 1363 South Blue Island Avenue. A man ran over and pulled the fire alarm sounding the trigger for help. There were five different squads, all converging at the fire location.

At first, this fire didn’t seem to be something so significant, until it then collapsed trapping nine men inside. One of the walls knocked out the electrical power inside the building. The firefighters decided to use portable lighting to see inside.

Rescue effort at 1363 South Blue Island Avenue

They searched frantically for their fallen comrades however all nine of the men had been killed including Francis. As it turns out, the building fire started not by accident—but by the owners who were trying to claim insurance fraud for their sporting goods and novelties business. They however were caught and convicted for the crime later.

After the fire incident, the very next day…one firefighter noticed the same window that Francis was cleaning the day before. It looked really odd, there was a hand print embedded on the window. Several people tried scrubbing the hand print out, but it simply didn’t work. The hand print remained. This astonishing hand print continued to stay there for years.

Francis Leavy handprint

Over time, the firefighters used everything from ammonia to acid. Razor blade scrapping didn’t work either. Eventually, the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company was then called in. They used an extremely strong chemical solvent yet the hand print still remained. Eerily, the hand print matched up with the personnel records on file matching up with Francis.

In particular, the thumb was the exact same size as Leavy’s was. Later, a paperboy in 1946 apparently threw a newspaper hitting the old window. It then broke into pieces. Perhaps the window was weak from people trying to clean it over the years.

Francis “Frank” Leavy was a career firefighter reaching the rank of ‘pipeman’ with Engine Company #107 who served the city of Chicago while he was there. Family and friends certainly miss him and his unusual premonition of death still baffles people today. What did he foresee and how did he know he was going to die that day?

Chicago Firefighters

(Source: WBEZ Blogs)

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