Portland's Greatest Conflagration: The 1866 Fire Disaster

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On the Fourth of July in 1866, joy turned to tragedy in Portland, Maine. A boy threw a firecracker onto a pile of wood shavings and it erupted in a blaze as residents prepared to celebrate the 110th anniversary of American independence in the momentous time following the Civil War. The violent conflagration killed two people and destroyed all structures on nearly thirty streets. Authors Michael Daicy and Don Whitney, both firefighters, chronicle the day's catastrophic events, as well as the bravery of those who fought the ferocious fire, dispelling the myth that ill-trained firefighting contributed to the devastation.
ISBN: 9781596299559
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Maine
Series: Disaster
Images: 42
Pages: 144
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Donald Whitney retired as a lieutenant from the Portland Fire Department and serves as Portland Fire Museum curator. He is an adjunct professor at Southern Maine Community College, Fire Science Department, teaching the history course "Fire in American Society, " which he developed. He has authored four books on the Portland Fire Department and has written for national trade magazines. Michael Daicy has been a Portland firefighter since 1983. He has been assigned at Engine Company No. 11 in the East Deering section of the city, where he has served for the last twenty years. Michael has done extensive research on the Portland Fire Department's history. Since 1989, he has been appointed by four fire chiefs as the official department historian. He has built an extensive fire department historical database and produced numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and other publications, which included a 1994 commemorative book on the department. He has also served as editor of the fire department's annual report since 1997. The text of Portland's Greatest Conflagration is heavily weighted by these cited works. Daicy's family genealogy includes Rufus King, one of the signers of the Constitution, and Maine's first governor, William King. Also, Michael has three ancestors who were Portland firemen in the mid-nineteenth century and may have assisted in fighting this great conflagration.
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