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The Chicago Fire Of 1871 Essay

552 words - 2 pages

THE CHICAGO FIRE of 1871 The summer of 1871 had been an unusually dry one in Chicago. Between July andOctober, only 5 inches of rain fell. In addition to twenty-seven fires in the first week ofOctober, on Saturday night, October 7, a blaze broke out in a planning mill on the WestSide and destroyed almost every building in a four block area before it was brought undercontrol Sunday morning. They lost a hose and other fire-fighting equipment, includingone of seventeen steam fire engines and a hose cart. Nearly half of Chicago's 185 firemenfought this fire and many were on duty all day, so they were already exhausted whenthe Great Chicago Fire of 1871 struck. Some people think that the fire was started by Mrs. O'leary's cow kicking over alantern. Others have different theories, but one thing is for sure,on the Sunday evening ofOctober 8, 1871 a blaze started in Mrs. O' leary's barn. Daniel sullivan sat on the woodensidewalk when he saw a flame in Mrs. O'leary's barn. He managed to save a half growncalf. By now everyone in the neighborhood woke up, including the sleeping O'learys. The'America' hose cart was the first to reach the scene. They were soon joined by the'Little Giant' engine company. A neighbor ran to a drug store to turn on an alarm but thealarm failed to work. The court house watchman had given wrong directions but latertried to correct his mistake, but the alarm operator was eating dinner so she refused tocorrect the mistake. The fire engines went about 1 mile south of where the fire...

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