The Chicago Fire refers to a catastrophic event that took place in Chicago in 1871. When did the fire begin? It started burning from October 8 and continued till October 10, 1871. October 8 was a Sunday. The fire lasted till the early hours of the following Tuesday.
The Great Chicago Fire ended hundreds of lives in the city and devastated an area of about four square miles. It is regarded as one of the most devastating incidents in the 19th century that took place in the United States.
The fire started around a small shed near 137 DeKoven Street. A cow kicking a lantern was believed to have been the cause of this fire. However, the reporter who had made up this story admitted to have done so to make his report interesting. Chicago housed many wooden constructions, which caused the fire to spread.
Secondly, strong winds from the southwest caused the fire to spread faster. The massive devastation that the fire caused was also a result of the carelessness of the people of Chicago. They did not take heed of the fire, when it had just begun.
After the fire department was informed, the guard in the department did not take any immediate action. It was after the fire got bigger, that the guard realized its severity. The fire reached a tall church located to the west of Chicago River.
It soon spread to other parts of the city, destroying hotels, departmental stores, theaters, the City Hall, and also the water works in Chicago. It eventually became uncontrollable, until nature came to the rescue. The winds became milder and the city experienced a drizzle due to which the fire was extinguished.
After this unfortunate event, Chicago underwent dramatic change. The rebuilding that followed the devastation led the city to become one of the most important economic centers of the USA. The municipal flag of Chicago bears four stars, one of which commemorates the Great Chicago Fire.