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In Chicago, a serious afternoon fire destroys the First Unitarian Church along with other buildings

Fire and Earthquake Disasters, iconic image
05/22/1863
A destructive fire started near a workshop in an alley between Dearborn and Washington Streets in Chicago in the early afternoon.  Several businesses suffered extensive damage but the First Unitarian Church, which backed up onto the alley in question, was completely destroyed.  Built in 1841 and one of the earliest public buildings in Chicago, the church was engulfed and burned almost to the ground in half an hour.  The fire was then contained and no injuries were reported.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
"Destructive Conflagration: The First Unitarian Church and other Buildings Destroyed," Chicago Tribune, May 23, 1863, p. 4. 

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