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Fire Strikes the Chicago Stock Yards:: A History of Flame and Folly in the Jungle (Disaster) Paperback – February 12, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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  • Fire Strikes the Chicago Stock Yards:: A History of Flame and Folly in the Jungle (Disaster)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A retired on-air reporter for WGN-TV/ Radio, John Hogan is the author of A Spirit Capable: The Story of Commonwealth Edison."Alex Burkholder was an investigative news producer for WGN-TV/Radio. He is a founding member of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago."
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Product Details

  • Series: Disaster
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609499077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609499075
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many people are aware of the hazards of the Chicago stockyards, thanks to Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle (Dover Thrift Editions). What most people aren't aware of is how often, and how dangerous, the stockyards were for fires and those who had to fight them.

A few days before Christmas, in 1910, the Chicago fire department faced the largest single-episode loss of firemen, until 9/11. Twenty-one firemen and three packing company employees lost their lives when a wall collapsed during a fire at the stockyards.

Though my eyes glazed over a bit during the portions dealing with firefighting techniques as well as during the portions that were merely a litany of fires in the stockyards (seemingly at least a few per year), the rest of the book has plenty to recommend it.

An interesting look at early 20th century Chicago.
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Format: Paperback
The authors have taught me a little more about Chicago's history. I did not know about the event, although the stockyards are well known about Chicago. Twenty three fireman died when a wall of a meat warehouse fell on fireman trying to put out the fire. It was a sad and preventable tale since the meat companies shut down the water mains going into this industrial area. The Chicago fire chief was also aggressive and this also factored in the wrong decisions made at the wrong time.

What I disliked about this book was the comparison with Custer. The fire chief was fighting a fire, not some Indians. Nothing was worth him expending his life and that of his men for a block of three buildings. If the meat companies cared so little about these fires, nothing was worth losing a fireman's life. I liked this book for shedding light on something I never knew about Chicago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading the book. The author's research in the subject matter made the story very interesting, the background and aftermath of the fires and the personalities made the book an enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can only speculate on how much time these authors put into the research for this story of a disastrous fire that took so many from us. They did a remarkable job putting it into a thorough story but also enough interest to not make it boring. My Kudos to them and would like to have many more from these two guys.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author's description of the fires are so vivid you can see the events unfold before your eyes. What a great history lesson about a part of Chicago that is fading into the past.
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