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Fire

The story of Chicago in the nineteenth century is the story of the making of America, Donald L. Miller says. A new PBS documentary based on a book he wrote shows why.

Once you’ve discovered fire, you have to keep it from burning you. This is how it was managed before the safety match.

Her life preservers weighted with scrap-iron, her lifeboats mere decoration, the excursion steamer General Slocum left New York’s Third Street pier at 9:30 on the morning of June 15,1904, with thirteen-hundred picknickers bound for a Long Island beach. Less than an hour later, she was afire.

June in Middle Village—a time of flowers. Along block after block in that quiet section of Queens in New York, front yards glow with their colors. Roses by the thousands, the tens of thousands. Read more >>
All through the late spring and summer of 1894 a haze of woodsmoke hung over the town of Hinckley in Pine County, Minnesota. Small fires burned unheeded in the cutover timberlands throughout the county, throughout the whole eastern part of the state. Read more >>

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter That Herbert rushed out to see what was the matter

On Christmas morning of 1929 Fire Marshal C. G. Achstetter of Washington, D.C., commenced the tedious paperwork that follows a $135,000 fire. Read more >>

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