Fires have shaped Boston since its founding on a narrow peninsula in 1630. Innovations by Bostonians have led to improvements in fire fighting and fire prevention across the land.
In the first comprehensive history of Bostonís major fires, Schorow tells the dramatic tales of seventeenth-century fires (which were viewed as signs of Godís wrath), the 1834 Ursuline convent fire, the Great Fire of 1872, the Chelsea conflagrations of 1908 and 1973, the tragic Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, the Vendome Hotel collapse that killed nine firefighters in 1972, and an arson ring that terrorized the city in the 1980s.
Chapters are also devoted to two key Boston innovations: the Hunneman fire engine and the citywide fire alarm system (first in the nation) developed by William Francis Channing and Moses Farmer.
Of interest to Boston area readers are stories of notable buffs and sparks including Arthur Fiedler.