the great chicago fire


What Started The Great Chicago Fire Of 1871
Cow Or Thief?

On the eighth night of October and the year 1871 sometime around nine in the evening, a very large fire started in Chicago Illinois killing hundreds upon hundreds of people and completely destroying several square miles of the city. This fire was one of the largest U.S. disasters in the nineteenth century. The fire burned for three days. This earned it the name of the great Chicago fire. 

In response to the great Chicago fire, Chicago made advanced fire fighting a priority. For example, the great Midwestern metropolis has sought to become fire proof. Amongst their greatest additions are a sensor that warns fire fighters of an impending building collapse, lighter breathing gear for the fire fighters and a computer chip that monitors the fire fighters vital signs while they are in a burning building. 

The city of Chicago fire department did not receive word of the blaze until somewhere around nine forty p.m. (that was nearly forty minutes after the blaze had begun.) The fire had already spread across to many homes and then across to businesses. 

Finally, on late Monday night October tenth the fire burned out with the aid of a slight rain and diminishing winds. Eventually it was discovered that the fire had almost completely destroyed an area somewhere around four miles long and approximately 3/4 of a mile wide including more than two thousand acres of land. Out of the cities approximately three hundred thousand residents, somewhere around one hundred thousand residents were left without a home. The death toll from this fire was estimated to be around two to three hundred people which was considered to be a small number for such a large fire. Few buildings withstood the fiery hot flames of the great Chicago fire. The most well known structure to have survived this fire was the 152 foot tall Chicago water tower built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington. This building was named a national land mark in the year 1969.  

Although it was said that the great Chicago fire was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in the O’Leary shed, located at 137 Dekovan Street, researchers actually believe that it was set off by pegleg Sullivan, which is the man that first reported the fire. The Chicago city council decided that Mr. Sullivan had touched off the fire in the barn while trying to steal milk for a nice batch of whisky punch.

the great chicago fire

the great chicago fire

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