What Happened to Otis Zvonecek on Chicago Fire? (2023)

Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov) was treated like everyone's little brother throughout his tenure onChicago Fire.From his close friendship with Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso) to being roommates with Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) and Leslie Shay (Lauren German), Otis was a huge part of the Firehouse 51 family.

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Relive some of the best Otis moments before his tragic Season 8 death, which was undeniably one of One Chicago's most tear-jerking moments.

Otis's Firefighter Podcast

His connections to the rest of Firehouse 51 made Otis the perfect person to host a podcast telling the tales of all of their rescues. In Season 1, Episode 7 ("Two Families") Randy "Mouch" McHolland (Christian Stolte) appeared as a guest on the podcast, giving audiences a first taste of the show.

A very confused and intentionally goofy Mouch didn't answer many of Otis's questions directly, but the podcast came together at the end of the episode."I'm thankful because I can have two families, and not many people can say that," Otis said as voiceover in his recorded show.

Later, in Season 1, Episode 13 ("Warm and Dead"), Otis met a group of firefighters in Morningside who loved his podcast, revealing that he was more popular than Firehouse 51 recognized. The group praised Otis and told him his jokes were funny, saying "I've never laughed that hard."

They even let him drive their firetruck to a call — a big difference from the "pesky little brother" vibe with which Otis was treated at Firehouse 51. Otis put in a transfer request to the Morningside group, but ultimately stayed at 51 for six more seasons, realizing that his fire family's tough love was part of their special dynamic.

Otis's Romantic Relationship History

In Season 2, Episode 11 ("Shoved in My Face"), Otis flirted Severide's half-sister, Katie Nolan (Brittany Curran). The two bonded over the board game Settlers of Catan and Nolan asked Otis to come to dinner. They dated for a few episodes (with Severide's approval) until she became the victim of a kidnapping.

In Episode 14 ("Virgin Skin") Nolan told Severide and Otis that the trauma she endured left a lasting mark, and she needed to get some extra support in Colorado. The couple's short-lived romance showed more of Otis's sweet personality and he was of course supportive of her decision to do what was best for her.

Later, when paramedic Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) joined the team, Otis developed a new crush. Throughout Season 4, he slowly realized that the feelings were not reciprocated, and when he asked Brett for dinner he finally got the answer he needed to move on.

Otis later ended up dating Lily (Ariane Rinehart), who first appeared in Season 6, Episode 6 ("Down is Better"). Her father sold his bar to Herrmann to be called "Molly's North," and she helped run it until Otis's death.

Otis and Cruz's Friendship

What Happened to Otis Zvonecek on Chicago Fire? (2)

Photo: NBC

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One of the best duosFirehas ever seen, Otis and Cruz's relationship can best be summed up with the phrase "best friend magic" — the phrase they used with each other. Season 8, Episode 9 — which took place after Otis's death — was even named for their relationship ("Best Friend Magic"); audiences watched a drone recording from when the two buddies had successfully launched a flying video camera and used the phrase.

The two had plenty of sweet moments throughout the show, though: They were roommates — Otis comically assumed they'd share a one-bedroom when they first started apartment hunting in Season 2, Episode 17 ("When Things Got Rough")— and they always looked out for each other.

In Season 5, Episode 20 ("Carry Me"), the duo searched for another roommate for their apartment and Brett immediately jumped at the offer. They weren't sure about having her in their apartment, but she fought them on it. "Just write down every question you would ask any other potential roommate, and if I pass, I get to move in," she pleaded. After a rough bout of questions, Brett finagled her way into getting all three of them parking permits, so they accepted her as their third roommate.

Otis's Medical Fears

What Happened to Otis Zvonecek on Chicago Fire? (3)
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Photo: NBC

In Season 4, Episode 19 ("I Will Be Walking"), Cruz spotted a large bruise on Otis's back. "Seriously dude you have a bruise the size of a breadbasket," he told his friend, worried. Otis sought out the medical advice of Brett, who encouraged him to see a doctor. "Are you saying I have cancer?" he said fearfully, but she reassured him that it was probably not a huge deal.

Otis visited Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) atChicago Med, who ordered blood tests, increasing the firefighter's fears. "I read that easy bruising is a sign of leukemia," he said. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves," Halstead told him. Otis ended up leaving without getting his blood drawn and later lied to Brett, saying that he'd received a clean bill of health.

Brett and Cruz soon teamed up to convince Otis to get the bloodwork done and, in Episode 21 ("Kind of a Crazy Idea"), Halstead broke the news that Otis would need to receive immediate treatment for his leukemia.

What Happened to Otis Zvonecek on Chicago Fire? (4)

Photo: NBC

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Otis told Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker) about the diagnosis and teared up, saying that his dad died of leukemia and he was terrified to follow that path.

"I walk into a burning building and I know what I'm up against. But this? I'm in over my head here," he told Boden.

Protecting Firehouse 51 Even While Injured

Otis's medical problems didn't end after his cancer went into remission. In Season 6, Episode 15 ("The Chance to Forgive"), Otis was shot in the ear when the family's stockpile of loaded guns and ammunition went off during a fire call. The entire squad watched as Brett and Dawson resuscitated him on the scene, and the doctors atChicago Medsaid that Otis got lucky because the bullet barely missed his spinal cord. But, he needed surgery and was forced take time off from work to recover.

In Episode 17 ("Put White On Me"), Otis began to be able to walk again, but still clearly had a long road ahead of him before he could return to firefighting. Boden visited him in the hospital and asked him to work a desk job in the bullpen, which upset Otis. "It'd be a favor to me," Boden assured him, and Otis eventually accepted the position so that he could be back at 51 while on leave.

During that episode, the firehouse responded to a call and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) saved a young boy from a pool electrical catastrophe, but the boy wouldn't tell rescuers his family's information. Otis met the boy and, after bonding with him a bit, got the full name of his father and was able to reunite the two. The boy's mother came to the firehouse later that day, yelling that the father "didn't have custody" and was "a lunatic," so she was going to sue the Chicago Fire Department.

Otis took this to mean that he wasn't useful while injured, and he went to the house to apologize to the mother. Through some sleuthing he ended up figuring out that the family was attempting to frame the CFD to get a settlement. He took a photo of the two parents, who were happily together, to prove their lie and thereby saved the department from a lawsuit.

Otis's Tragic Death and Memorial

At the end of Season 7, in Episode 22 ("I'm Not Leaving You"), Firehouse 51 was called to respond to a giant mattress warehouse fire. Before entering, Herrmann said that mattress factory fires were particularly hard to battle, and told the squad they were going to "take a beating." The fire's intensity put everyone's life in danger and the season ended on a shot of a pressure valve exploding, leaving audiences unsure which Firehouse 51 crew members would make it out alive.

In the Season 8 premiere ("Sacred Ground"), it was revealed that Otis was fatally injured in the fire. Cruz discovered his body when he heard Otis's safety alarm going off and rushed him out of the building to the hospital. Otis's last words to Cruz were in Russian, but translated to "Brother, I will be with you always."

(Video) Chicago Fire - Otis- "Iridescent"

At the end of the episode, Boden revealed a memorial statue dedicated to Otis and gathered the whole team to see it."Brian Zvonecek was our brother. He was our friend, he was a hell of a firefighter. He was smart, funny, kind, he was unselfish, and he was loyal," the Chief said.


What Happened to Otis Zvonecek on Chicago Fire? ›

Otis was a beloved character on Chicago Fire for the show's first eight seasons. Chicago Fire fans will never forget the fateful moment when Otis Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov) tragically died after sustaining injuries from a mattress factory fire at the beginning of Season 8.

What medical condition did Otis have on Chicago Fire? ›

On a recent episode of “Chicago Fire” on NBC, one of the main characters, Firefighter Brian "Otis" Zvonecek was diagnosed with ITP.

What actually happened to Otis? ›

The episode flashes back to show Shane sacrificed Otis by shooting him in the leg and leaving him as bait for the walkers while he escaped with the medicine.

How did Otis get hurt in season 6 of Chicago Fire? ›

Elsewhere, Brett confides in Dawson, who suggests that Brett might be pregnant. Firehouse 51 responds to a call of a residential fire, but things take a dramatic turn when gunshots are fired in the home and Otis is severely injured.

What does Otis say when he dies? ›

His team rescued him and rushed him to the hospital, where he died by the side of his best friend and roommate Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso), after telling him in Russian that "Brother, I will be with you, always." It wouldn't be until three months later that Cruz learned the translation of Otis' last words.

What were Otis dying words on Chicago Fire? ›

Otis' final words were to his best friend and roommate, Joe Cruz, and they were spoken in Russian. They were: "Brat, ya budu s toboy vsegda." That roughly translates to "Brother, I will be with you always." This is a message Cruz would only come to understand three months later.

Do they ever find out that Shane killed Otis? ›

Randall was injured during the attack, and they brought him back to be healed, but Rick says that once he is well enough, they will drive him far away from the farm. Rick and Shane go together to deposit him at a distant site where Rick finally confronts Shane about Otis' murder which Shane admits to.

What was Otis last episode? ›

Fans were devastated when Otis, a beloved character played by actor Yuri Sardarov, met his untimely demise in the season eight premiere “Sacred Ground.” Otis had been a member of Firehouse 51 since the show's inception and quickly became a fan favorite due to his humor, heart, and dedication to his job.

Does Otis become paralyzed in Chicago Fire? ›

But when the doctor (Chicago universe regular Brian Tee) touches his toes, Otis does not feel anything. That's bad news. It looks like he will be paralyzed and is not likely to be back in the firehouse any time soon. Thankfully, he is now able to walk, but with a cane.

What episode was Otis killed in Chicago Fire? ›

In the Season 8 premiere ("Sacred Ground"), it was revealed that Otis was fatally injured in the fire. Cruz discovered his body when he heard Otis's safety alarm going off and rushed him out of the building to the hospital.

Is Brett pregnant in season 6? ›

No, Brett had a pregnancy scare but tested negative. She and Antonio later broke up when his ex-wife confronted Brett, and he lashed out at her. Gabriela Dawson is also not pregnant with Matthew Casey's baby, as the pregnancy was not viable and Gabby had to have surgery to fix the mistakes.

Why did Gabby leave Chicago Fire? ›

In the interview, Raymund explained why she decided to leave the show. “I'm not sure the exact moment when it happened, but I knew that my six-year contract was coming to an end and I felt like I was hungry to explore a different role, a different story,” she said.

Did Otis get leukemia in Chicago Fire? ›

After a nerve-wracking period characterized by cancer-related anxieties, Otis received an ITP (Immune thrombocytopenic purpura) diagnosis in a Season 4 episode of Chicago Fire. Two seasons later, he got shot in the neck by a stray bullet while putting out a fire in a house full of loaded weapons.

Is Otis paralyzed on Chicago Fire? ›

It's always interesting when someone new shows up at Firehouse 51. On Chicago Fire Season 6 Episode 16, “The One That Matters Most,” the news about Otis is bittersweet. He's not paralyzed — a successful surgical procedure instead gives him some hope. But it's going to be a long road before he's back on the truck.

Does Otis stay paralyzed? ›

Otis' paralysis is from pressure on his spine from a hematoma linked to his platelet issue. The hematoma was drained and Otis got his feeling back. However, Chicago Fire did the thing I'd been complaining about them not doing for a while: they've made it difficult for him moving forward.


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4. Charles Diagnoses Otis - Chicago Med (Episode Highlight)
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