Historical Insights The Great Baltimore Fire

The estimated cost of the damages caused by the fire was more than $125 million (almost $4 billion today), but the city reported it had rebuilt its business district just two years later. 1904, Baltimore, Maryland. Credit:

The Great Baltimore Fire

On the morning of February 7, 1904, what started as a small fire in the basement of the Hurst and Company dry goods store turned into an uncontrollable inferno. Firefighters were quickly outmatched by the blaze that reached 2400 degrees. Two days later more than 140 acres of the city’s business district were reduced to ashes, leaving some 35,000 unemployed. Despite the magnitude of the destruction not one person perished in the fire.