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What began as a small fire near a family barn quickly escalated into the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. During the two days that the fire raged, it destroyed 3.3 square miles of the city, damaging roads, sidewalks, lampposts, and some 17,500 buildings. Despite the valiant efforts of firefighters, the blaze was not completely extinguished until the city received a providential rainfall. By that time, Chicago had already incurred $200 million in property damage, which would amount to $3.9 billion in today's dollars.
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