E9. The Great Boston Fire, 11-9-1872

The Great Boston Fire, 11-9-1872
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The Great Boston Fire, 11-9-1872
The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston’s largest urban fire, and still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history. The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres (26 ha) of Boston’s downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district, and caused $73.5 million in damage.[1] At least 30 people are known to have died in the fire.
This page contains basic information about the Great Boston Fire of 1872, which occurred on Saturday and Sunday, November 9 & 10, 1872. The fire destroyed 776 buildings across 65 acres of land, with the assessed value of the properties at nearly $13.5 million and personal property loss of of $60 million dollars. The downtown area of Boston had undergone a rapid development in the years after the Civil War, but improvements, especially water mains, had not been upgraded during these years. The fire department at the time was dealing with an epizootic, a disease which affects equine animals, thus affecting the horses that pulled the heavy fire apparatus. The fire spread rapidly, creating its own energy or firestorm, due to the tremendous heat generated. Although many or most buildings were made of brick or stone, the window frames and other fixtures were made of wood, thus allowing the fire to communicate to nearby structures. During the course of the fire, which burned uncontrolled for more than 12 hours, buildings were blown-up using black gun powder in a controversial effort to create a fire break.
From: Saturday, November 9, 1872
To: Sunday, March 11, 1973
Result: 36,647 days
100 years, 4 months, 3 days
3,166,300,800 seconds
52,771,680 minutes
879,528 hours
36,647 days
5235 weeks
From: Saturday, November 9, 1872
To: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Result: 47,058 days
128 years, 10 months, 3 days
4,065,811,200 seconds
67,763,520 minutes
1,129,392 hours
47,058 days
6722 weeks

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