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Boston on Fire: A History of Fires and Firefighting in Boston Paperback – January 30, 2006
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FIRES HAVE SHAPED BOSTON SINCE its founding on a narrow peninsula in 1630. Innovations by Bostonians have led to improvements in firefighting and fire prevention across the land. In the first comprehensive history of Bostons major fires, Stephanie Schorow tells the dramatic tales of seventeenth-century fires (which were viewed as signs of Gods wrath), the 1834 Ursuline convent fire, the Great Fire of 1872, the Chelsea conflagrations of 1908 and 1973, the tragic Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire of 1942, the Vendome Hotel collapse that killed nine firefighters in 1972, and an arson ring that terrorized the city in the early 1980s. Chapters are also devoted to two key Boston innovations: the Hunneman fire engine and the citywide fire alarm system (first in the nation) developed by William Francis Channing and Moses Farmer. Youve heard of the Freedom Trail. Discover Bostons Fire Trail! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It starts from times when there were no machines to fight fires, dirt roads downtown, little or no water available, and nobody on the payroll. Stories cover fires in and around Boston that wiped out entire neighborhoods and changed hundreds of lives. The story of the famous Cocoanut Grove fire of late 1942 is right from the front line and for me, brought the recent Station Nightclub fire to mind.
As a bridge to further study, it has detailed references to source material drawn upon, but I have to think that none of it can be more captivating than this compendium.....