64. Fires that Changed Cities

Fires are destructive. They also create changes. In a fire burned most of Chicago to the . Many people think the fire was started when cow knocked over a gas lamp. Most of city at the time was built of wood. , combined with the famous Chicago winds and a , made the city burn down quickly. The fire for three days. 100,000 people were left homeless, at least 300 were killed. What was amazing how quickly the city was rebuilt, eventually becoming third most populous city in the United States.

Great Boston Fire of 1872 created a property of $73.5 million, more than any other fire the U.S. history. Most of Downtown Boston and financial district burned down in the fire that in a warehouse basement. 30 people died, and lost their jobs and their homes. However, the was rebuilt in two years. It began enforcing regulations because of the fire.

The 1911 Triangle Factory fire in New York City caused the highest loss of life from an industrial accident the U.S. history. 123 women and 23 men, garment workers and mostly poor immigrants, died from fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to deaths. Child labor was not uncommon. The youngest were two 14-year-old girls who worked in the . So many people died because the owners of factory locked the doors to the stairs and . This was to prevent the workers from taking and stealing. As a result of the fire huge loss of life, many people began protesting working conditions. The U.S. Congress passed laws improving safety conditions. Women workers also formed a union fight for better working conditions.