It’s the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week .
Today is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 which destroyed approximately 3.3 square miles of the city – killing approximately 300 people. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in a barn, but that turns out to be a story spun by a newspaper man. Although the true cause is not known, among the theories are possibly the barn did catch fire from spontaneous combustion in the piles of hay, or that sparks from a chimney fire were spread by a very windy night. Both, says Teton County Fire Marshal Kathy Clay are as much of a threat today as they were then.
While National Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire, a far more tragic fire killed as many as 2500 people and consumed 1,875 square miles around Peshtigo, Wisconsin that same night.