A Fire Chief (Eric Campbell) is approached by a man (Lloyd Bacon) who asks that the Fire Department ignores a fire at his house so that he may collect the insurance money. The man insures that his daughter (Edna Purviance) is out during the fire so remains unharmed. The woman is not out though when an arsonist sets the property alight and she gets trapped upstairs. Meanwhile the Firemen which include accident prone Charlie Chaplin are at another house, putting out a fire. When the man realises his daughter is trapped he searches for them, finding Chaplin who attempts to save the day and win the woman’s heart.
Amazingly The Fireman was Chaplin’s 52nd film but was released in June 1916. Despite his age and lack of years in the industry he was by now a pro and it shows here with clever gags and a nice central idea. Unfortunately the film suffers from a similar problem as The Floorwalker in that it just isn’t quite funny enough.