1871: Great Chicago Fire begins

Great Chicago Fire of 1871
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ON THIS DAY


On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3+ billion in today’s dollars) in damages. – History


Cover Photo: The Great fire at Chicago Oct. 9th 1871. View from the west side / Gibson & Co.’s Steam Press, Cin. O.