Today is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire which happened in in 1871. The ifre leveled 3 1/2 square miles, destroying 17450 buildings and leaving 98500 people homeless and about 250 people dead. Loss of the city was estimated to 200$ million. Legend says that the fire began because the cow of Mrs O'Leary kicked a lantern in the barn on DeKoven Street.
On the same day - same year a fire destroyed the entire town of Peshtigo, WI, killing more that 1100 people. This one was a forest fire which burned across six counties.