1871 – Peshtigo Fire

On this date Peshtigo, Wisconsin was devastated by a fire which took 1,200 lives. The fire caused over $2 million in damages and destroyed 1.25 million acres of forest. This was the greatest human loss due to fire in the history of the United States. was overshadowed by the which occured on the same day, killing 250 people and lasting three days. While the Chicago fire is said to have started by a cow kicking over a lantern, it is uncertain how the Peshtigo fire began. [Source: ]