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Miss O'Leary's cow might be innocent after all: 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire

Recovering valuables from bank vaults after the Great Chicago Fire. Engraving from The Illustrated London News, No 1678, on Nov. 11, 1871. (Getty Images)
Recovering valuables from bank vaults after the Great Chicago Fire. Engraving from The Illustrated London News, No 1678, on Nov. 11, 1871. (Getty Images)

As the tale goes, Miss O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern and started the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, burning about 3 square miles of the city, destroying 17,500 buildings and killing around 300 people.

What can firsthand accounts teach us about the fire?

Host Scott Tong speaks with Robert Loerzel, a Chicago-based freelance journalist, about his reporting.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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