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Great Baltimore Fire

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 raged in Baltimore, Maryland from 10:48 am Sunday February 7 to 5:00 pm Monday February 8, 1904. Over 1231 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control.

The fire was reported first at the John Hurst and Company building at 10:48 am and quickly spread. By 1:30 pm, units from Washington DC were arriving. To halt the fire, officials decided to use a firewall, and dynamited buildings around the existing fire. This was unsuccessful.

One reason for the duration of the fire was the lack of national standards in fire-fighting equipment. Although fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, as well as units from New York, New York, Wilmington, Delaware, and Atlantic City, New Jersey) responded, many were useless because their hose couples failed to fit Baltimore hydrants. As a result, the fire burned over 30 hours, destroying 1526 buldings spanning 70 city blocks.

Suprisingly, there was only one death resulting from the fire (due to pneumonia). Still in the aftermath, 35,000 people were made unemployed. After the fire, the city was rebuilt using more fireproof materials such as granite pavers.

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