The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 killed approximately 300 people. The fire burned from October 8 until October 10 of that year and created $200 million dollars worth of damages.
Dry weather and an abundance of wooden structures helped the fire to grow. The fire began on the property of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary where their barn was located. It is not known how the fire was actually started, but there is a theory that a cow knocked over a lit lantern. The rain that appeared on October 10 aided in controlling and eliminating the fire. Martial Law was declared the day after the fire was eliminated due to the looting that followed this disaster.