How did Danny Borrelli die on Chicago Fire?

CHICAGO FIRE -- Pictured: "Chicago Fire" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
CHICAGO FIRE -- Pictured: "Chicago Fire" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

Danny Borrelli (Andy Ahrens) was a Chicago Fire troublemaker. The firefighter made a loud impression in the season 4 episode “Let It Burn”, where he masterminded a prank that saw his little brother Jimmy (Steven R. McQueen) get dropped outside the fire station bound and gagged.

Danny maintained this reckless behavior during his time on Chicago Fire. He even told his brother to ditch the 51 when it seemed as though things were getting tough, which was an indicator of how he handled his own problems.

Sadly, the character died in the episode “Where the Collapse Started”. Here’s a recap of how and why.

What happened to Danny Borrelli?

Danny was killed in the line of duty after answering a call to a burning building. He went back into the building after it was initially cleared because he thought he heard the noise of a victim inside. He went against standard protocol and wound up paying with his life, as he was subsequent hit with falling debris.

To make matters even more traumatic, Jimmy was on site and tried to save him, but it ultimately proved too late. Danny never made it out of season 4, but his death lingered in Jimmy’s mind and led to the younger Borrelli blaming himself for the incident.

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Jimmy became more callous as a result, and his daring approach to the job led to him suffering major injuries in the season 5 episode “A Real Wake-Up Call”. He directly went against the orders of Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) and tried to rescue a victim, but his grand stand left him badly burned and without an eye. Jimmy was forced to retire from the 51 as a result, bringing a tragic conclusion to his family’s history on the show.

There are no plans to bring Danny or Jimmy back into the fold (the former would obviously have to be through flashback). When asked about the possibility of a handicapped Jimmy returning for a cameo, producer Michael Brandt said it was unlikely.

“Character-wise, you can never burn bridges on a show too badly to not salvage them”, he told TVLine. “But that said, there are no plans right now to bring Jimmy back to the show.”

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Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC. For now, you can catch up on the season on both Hulu and Peacock.