Great Fire, Boston, Mass., 1872
The Great Fire of 1872 was the largest fire in Boston’s history. The blaze began on Saturday, November 9, 1872, shortly after 7pm in the basement of a commercial warehouse at the corner of Summer Street and Kingston Street. The fire quickly spread from building to building, eventually engulfing entire city blocks in flames. By the time the fire was finally contained the following day, it had consumed approximately 65 acres of Boston’s downtown area, destroyed 776 buildings, and at least twenty people had lost their lives. The exact cause of the fire was never determined.

If you would like to see which area of Boston was destroyed by the fire, check out these maps of Boston after the Great Fire from the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.

For more information please contact:
Print Department
McKim Building, 3rd Floor
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
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