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The Great Chicago Fire

Posted in Anniversary, History on Monday, 27 September 2010

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picture, The Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire. Illustration by Neville Dear

8th October marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  Starting in or near a small shed at 137 DeKoven Street, on a Sunday evening at 9 p.m., the fire spread rapidly. The fire burned itself out the next day as the wind died down and a light rain began to fall, but only after consuming an area of some 2,000 acres, including 17,500 buildings, leaving 90,000 homeless and an estimated 200-300 dead.

The story that it was started by a cow kicking over a lantern published in the Chicago Republican was untrue, reporter Michael Ahern later admitting that he had made it up.

More pictures of Chicago can be found here. Many more images of fires and firefighting can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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