“in central Illinois, the intersection of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River is located in Chicago, the second largest city in the United States. The city covers an area of 588 square kilometers and has a population of more than 3 million. A large number of blacks and Jews live here. Today, Chicago not only preserves the early traditional ancient buildings of Western Europe, but also has magnificent modern skyscrapers. The urban area stretches for tens of kilometers along the broad and magnificent Avenue, with neat planning and layout. Various high-rise buildings with novel shapes and different colors make it a museum of architectural art. However, everything now appeared after a fire more than 100 years ago.

disaster history

the raging God of fire

in the spring and autumn of 1871, a huge drought broke out on the grasslands of the Midwest of the United States, which was also a very painful period for people living in Chicago. That summer was long and dry, and the weather was unusually hot and dry. At that time, the main buildings in Chicago were wooden frame structures, and the streets and sidewalks were paved with pine. In the city, there are wooden fences, wooden warehouses and wooden horse sheds everywhere. Wooden carriages, Cereals, firewood and oil are also parked in the Trojan horse shed. At that time, there were more than 60000 houses in the city, of which 65% were completely built of wood. In the slums, wooden houses, firewood yards and coal yards are arranged in disorder, surrounded by paint sheds, furniture factories, etc. At this time, the whole city is like a pile of extremely dry firewood exposed to the sun.

in the summer of 1871, the sound of fire alarm can be heard everywhere in Chicago. On the night of October 7, a wood mill on Canal Street on the West Bank of Chicago lit a raging fire. The fire was very fierce. 20 fire companies in the city participated in the fire fighting, but it was only a small team including 17 fire carriages and less than 200 firefighters. After 16 hours of fighting, the fire was put out, but four blocks have been burned down, causing a total loss of 750000 US dollars. After the fire, the firefighters were all exhausted, and some of them were burned by the fire.

on October 8, 1871, when the moon fell on the city, a house in the northeast of the city suddenly caught fire, and then the church not far away was set on fire. The flame was like a giant snake, spitting its poisonous tongue and devouring everything around. The unfortunate people helped each other, crowded and immediately made a mess. In less than an hour, the whole slum became a sea of fire.

in the Chicago Fire map published in

media, the wind helps the fire and the fire helps the wind. The fire burned more and more, and houses collapsed in the fire.




at this time, no force seemed to be able to resist the attack of the God of fire. The strong wind with a speed of 96 kilometers per hour came from the grassland in the southwest. The flames soared to the sky, and the burning wood chips danced around in the air, and the whole night sky was red. Panicked citizens screamed and ran about in the street. Some rich businessmen abandoned their carriages and rode on startled horses to the suburbs.

raging fire

until 10 pm, two fire engines arrived at the scene of the fire, but in the face of the raging flame, the water jet was instantly turned into a piece of steam. More and more firefighters and police officers came, but in the face of such a fierce fire, they also felt powerless. The river in the distance was out of reach, and the water in the nearby stream had been boiling. The fire spread relentlessly, turning all the wooden buildings it could touch into ashes; It takes only a few minutes to treat a stone building and turn it into a pile of rubble. The train in the fire was burned to pieces, and a pile of pig iron nearby was directly melted into a pool of molten iron. In the middle of the night, the fire spread to the gas station, then triggered a strong explosion, followed by the explosion of methane gas leaked from nearby ammunition depots and sewers. Then the fire wave generated by the explosion spread the flame to high-density residential areas and commercial centers. Stone buildings were swallowed, crushed stones fell one after another, and metal materials were melted instantly. At the top of the court tower, the big clock used to give an alarm failed to withstand the baking of the fire and collapsed.

at noon on October 9, the fire began to spread to the north. The North District blocked by the Chicago River was originally considered a safe area, but a burning wood board rolled up by the strong wind crossed the Chicago River and fell on the roof of a wooden house in the North District. In an instant, the roof, walls and floors burned, The strong fire spread here again, and the fire rushed frantically to all objects that could burn through the wind. Many people were caught off guard. They were stunned by the sudden fire and had no time to draw water from the river. The streets were crowded with carriages with all kinds of luggage, and people ran around between them.

the fire continued on October 10, and more buildings, factories, homes and shops were burned down. It was not until 3 a.m. on October 10 that the wind began to weaken. At this time, there was a downpour in the sky, and the fire was gradually extinguished, but at this time, the city of Chicago on October 23 had turned into ruins. The worst fire in American history is finally over.

in the huge fire that lasted for 30 hours, more than 300 people were killed, countless livestock were killed and injured, 17500 houses were burned down, and the direct economic loss reached US $2 billion. After the fire, more than 100000 people were homeless.

looking for the perpetrators

after the end of the fire, looking for the perpetrators of the disaster has become the most important problem. At that time, many people thought that the cow in a wooden farm overturned the kerosene lamp and lit the cowshed, which made the fire spread throughout the city. But the fire chief who was directing the rescue at the scene said: