Fighting Fire!: Ten of the Deadliest Fires in American History and How We Fought Them

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Fighting Fire!: Ten of the Deadliest Fires in American History and How We Fought Them

by Michael L. Cooper

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | March 4, 2014 | Hardcover

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From colonial times to the modern day, two things have remained constant in American history: the destructive power of fires and the bravery of those who fight them.


Fighting Fire! brings to life ten of the deadliest infernos this nation has ever endured: the great fires of Boston, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and San Francisco, the disasters of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the General Slocum, and the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, the wildfire of Witch Creek in San Diego County, and the catastrophe of 9/11. Each blaze led to new firefighting techniques and technologies, yet the struggle against fires continues to this day. With historical images and a fast-paced text, this is both an exciting look at firefighting history and a celebration of the human spirit.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 9.2 × 6.98 × 0.79 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805097147

ISBN - 13: 9780805097146

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– More About This Product –

Fighting Fire!: Ten of the Deadliest Fires in American History and How We Fought Them

by Michael L. Cooper

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 224 pages, 9.2 × 6.98 × 0.79 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805097147

ISBN - 13: 9780805097146

Read from the Book

1 COLONIAL AMERICA’S BIGGEST FIRE BOSTON, 1760     In the days of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, big fires regularly destroyed towns and cities, but no city burned more than Boston. Between Boston’s founding in 1630 and the start of the American Revolution in 1775, fires regularly devastated large sections of the city. It’s not hard to see why. The Puritans who settled on Boston’s hilly Shawmut Peninsula used wood from nearby forests to build practically everything—houses, churches, and shops. They even used it to make chimneys. And the colonists cooked meals and heated their homes with open fireplaces full of wood crackling and popping. At night, candles and oil lamps provided light. Colonial Boston had its first recorded fire in 1631, when a chimney caught fire and burned a house down. Soon afterward the colonies had their first fire code: “noe man shall build his chimney with wood, nor cover his house with thatch.” New regulations followed each big fire. Boston’s Board of Selectmen, which was like a city council, required residents to clean their chimneys regularly. The selectmen also decreed that “no dwelling house in Boston shall be erected and set up except of stone or brick and covered with slate or tyle.” In 1678, the selectmen purchased the latest firefighting equipment, an English-made “hand tub fire engine.” At the time the word engine simply meant a tool or instrument. It w
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From the Publisher

From colonial times to the modern day, two things have remained constant in American history: the destructive power of fires and the bravery of those who fight them.


Fighting Fire! brings to life ten of the deadliest infernos this nation has ever endured: the great fires of Boston, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and San Francisco, the disasters of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the General Slocum, and the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, the wildfire of Witch Creek in San Diego County, and the catastrophe of 9/11. Each blaze led to new firefighting techniques and technologies, yet the struggle against fires continues to this day. With historical images and a fast-paced text, this is both an exciting look at firefighting history and a celebration of the human spirit.

About the Author

Michael L. Cooper is the award-winning author of many history and biography books for young readers. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Editorial Reviews

Ten chapters, arranged in chronological order, highlight major skirmishes in the ongoing war for human control over fire.