Special thanks to Kris Vetter for the following post!
This Saturday, October 8, marks the 145th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. In 1871, a fierce fire broke out in the bustling city of Chicago. Legend has it that Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern in her barn, but newspaper reporters later admitted that they made up the story. However, experts agree that the fire started near the O’Leary’s barn around 8:30 in the evening.
The fire jumped rivers and burned miles of buildings and homes, which were mostly constructed of wood and highly flammable shingle and tar roofs. The flames raged for more than two days. More than a hundred people died, and thousands were left homeless. In order to understand the impact of this disaster, you must understand its causes. How did Chicago’s building methods add fuel to the fire? How did human error delay help when the fire broke out?
To investigate the disaster from a cause-and-effect perspective, check out Lerner’s new book The Great ChicagoFire: A Cause-and-Effect Investigation.
Also examined in the Cause-and-Effect Disaster series are The Children’s Blizzard of 1888, Death in the Donner Party, Hurricane Katrina and the Flooding of NewOrleans, The Irish Potato Famine, andThe Jamestown Colony Disaster.
All titles are available in print, PDF, epub, and kf8 formats from LernerBooks.comand other retailers.