December 24, 1851Library of Congress burns.
The largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thirds of the Library's 55,000 book collection, including two–thirds of Jefferson's original transfer. Congress in 1852 quickly appropriated $168,700 to replace the lost books, but not for the acquisition of new materials.
Library of Congress
December 30, 1903A fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
The Iroquois Theatre fire occurred on December 30, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois. It is the deadliest theater fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history. At least 605 people died as a result of the fire but not all the deaths were reported, as some of the bodies were removed from the scene.
, Iroquois Theater
Great New Orleans Fire
March 21, 1788A fire in New Orleans leaves most of the town in ruins.
The Great New Orleans Fire (1788) was a fire that destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 21, 1788, spanning the south central French Quarter from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the riverfront buildings. An additional 212 buildings were destroyed in the Great New Orleans Fire (1794) on December 8, 1794.
, New Orleans
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
March 25, 1911In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers.
he Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum
on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; the oldest victim was 48, the youngest were two fourteen-year-old girls.
, New York City
St Louis Fire
May 17, 1849A large fire nearly burns St. Louis, Missouri to the ground.
The St. Louis Fire of 1849 was a devastating fire that occurred on May 17, 1849 and destroyed a significant part of St. Louis, Missouri and many of the steamboats using the Mississippi River and Missouri River. This was the first fire in United States history in which it is known that a firefighter was killed in the line of duty. Captain Thomas B. Targee was killed while trying to blast a fire break.
, St Louis
Great Seattle fire
June 6, 1889The Great Seattle fire destroys the entirety of downtown Seattle, Washington.
On the afternoon of June 6, 1889, John E. Back, a worker in Victor Clairmont's cabinet-making shop near Front Street and Madison Avenue, was heating glue over a gasoline fire. Sometime around 2:30 pm, the glue boiled over and caught fire. The fire soon spread to the wood chips and turpentine covering the floor. Back attempted to douse the fire with water which only served to spread the fire further. The fire department arrived by 2:45, but by that time the area was so smokey that the source of the fire could not be determined. At first it was assumed to have begun in the paint shop above Clairmont's woodworking shop and the Seattle newspaper erroneously ran this story the next day.