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A historical journey through the city’s catastrophic fires, and the stories of the heroes who fought them.
Chicago’s war against cinder, flame, and smoke did not end with the Great Fire of 1871. In 1909, fire ripped through the dynamite room of a staging facility a mile and half off the Lake Michigan shoreline, transforming the pipe-laying operation into a raging inferno. During the World’s Columbian Exposition, thousands of fairgoers watched in horror as twelve firefighters were trapped in a blazing ice warehouse. An operagoer left a smoking bomb under his seat at the Auditorium Theater in 1917. And the newly invented smoke ejector arrived too late to save firemen and laborers cut off in a sewer in 1931.
Join John Hogan and Alex Burkholder for the history of these forgotten fires—and those who responded to them.
“A must-read not only for first responders but also all history buffs, especially those interested in Chicago history.” —Robert Hoff, retired Fire Commissioner, Chicago Fire Department, from the Foreword