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A massive fire destroys much of Portland, Maine, leaving 10,000 homeless but killing only two.

Portland, Maine afire, July 4-5, 1866, artist's impression, detail
07/04/1866 to 07/05/1866
In the worst fire disaster up to that time to befall an American city, a third of Portland, Maine was burned to the ground after a blaze began in a small boat house near Commercial Street and quickly spread eastwards. The fire burned for twenty-four hours, destroyed more than 1,800 buildings, and left thousands of homeless living in tents.  Miraculously, only two people were reported to have lost their lives in the disaster.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
"The Portland Fire," Harper's Weekly Magazine, July 28, 1866, p. 465.
How to Cite This Page: "A massive fire destroys much of Portland, Maine, leaving 10,000 homeless but killing only two.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/45539.