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Word Count: 898
At 945 pm on a Sunday it was bedtime for most people in the booming city of Chicago Illinois But it was around this time on October 9 1871 when the fire alarm rang in box 342 This was the first of three alarms that were set off the third and final being a general alarm that summoned every available engine in the area to the scene Flames were seen rising from a small stable behind a house near the corner of De Koven and Jefferson streets Just as quickly as the fire could be put out it had spread to another building Little did they know at the time but this was the start of one of the most destructive fires in history a catastrophe was underway This extremely devastating disaster was not a complete loss however On the contrary many people believe there were good things that came out of it In fact many of the benefits seem to outweigh the downsides of the fire The tragedy paved the way for whole new city layout improved building quality as well as providing jobs for thousands of people A cow a simple little cow was believed to be the one who started it all The cow belonged to the now famous OLeary family The story has it that one small kerosene lantern left in the barn near some dry piles of hay had started the extremely disastrous and widespread Great Chicago Fire Recently a historian by the name of Robert Cromie has uncovered facts to disprove the tale of the OLeary cow Taking a look at the city of Chicago before the fire the city was overcrowded and was very poorly designed in many ways There was an unprecedented number of homeless and overall filth in some parts of the city had hit an unthinkable high In many ways the Chicago fire gave the city another chance to be designed
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