In its almost 10 years on our screens, Chicago Fire has seen countless cast members come and go but a number of stalwart stars have remained throughout.

Jesse Spencer’s Matt Casey is one of the show’s original actors and has appeared in every episode of Chicago Fire so far.

However, the dramatic twists and turns of season 10 have seen Matt Casey bid farewell to Firehouse 51 which has left fans asking just why actor Jesse Spencer is leaving Chicago Fire.

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Matt Casey is leaving Chicago Fire

In episode 4 of Chicago Fire’s 10th season, Matt Casey travelled to Oregon to visit Ben and Griffin Darden, the sons of the late Firehouse 51 veteran, Andrew Darden.

The routine visit quickly became complicated when Casey discovered that the boys’ aunt had left the pair alone a month ago and the two brothers have been attempting to fend for themselves ever since, with limited success.

Seeing the boys’ living situation and learning that they could end up in separate foster homes, Matt made the decision to move to Oregon to look after the two boys, at least until the youngest, Ben, had got himself into college in three years.

In Chicago Fire’s landmark 200th episode, Casey made the announcement of his departure and he bid a tearful farewell to his Firehouse 51 friends and colleagues.

Meanwhile, after several seasons of will-they-won’t-they, Casey and Brett finally got together at the end of season 9 but will have to continue their relationship long-distance with Matt leaving for Oregon.

NBC

Why is Jesse Spencer leaving Chicago Fire?

Jesse Spencer is leaving Chicago Fire in order to take a break from the gruelling network TV filming schedule and to spend more time with his family.

The Matt Casey actor spoke about his departure in a Zoom press conference and is quoted by TVLine saying: “It was a difficult decision because I’ve loved the show from the start, but there are other things that I would like to do in the future, and there’s some family that I need to take care of.”

Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas said that Jesse’s decision made for a “perfect full-circle [moment] and a really reasonable way for Casey to, organically, leave the show.”

However, both actor and showrunner were keen to leave the possibility of Matt Casey on the table.

“This is a three-year commitment that Casey is making,” Haas explained. “But hopefully, we’ll see him before those three years are done.”

Jesse Spencer echoed these sentiments, saying: “There is the potential for me to come back. I still am in Chicago right now. I’m not running off to Los Angeles or anything, although I might escape for a little bit of the winter.”

“My home here with my wife is in Chicago, and so I’m still going to be here, but I’m just stepping back for right now,” Spencer concluded.

NBC

Fans react to Matt Casey’s departure

It’s safe to say that fans haven’t taken kindly to the thought of Jesse Spencer leaving Chicago Fire and many have taken to social media to offer up their thoughts.

One fan on Twitter pointed to Casey and Brett’s final meeting as a hint to his future:

While this fan turned to memes to say what we are all thinking right now:

And finally, this fan summed up their feelings in gif form:

Chicago Fire continues on NBC on Wednesdays at 9/8c.

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