Hi, my name is Kyle Wegner and today we're going to talk about the Great Chicago Fire. History is about people, people are interesting and exploring history is interesting!Imagine a fire that leaves one third of the people in your city homeless and destroys one third of the value in the entire city. This is what the Great Chicago Fire did to Chicago, Illinois. The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday, October 8th, to Tuesday, October 10, 1871. The fire killed hundreds of people and destroyed about three square miles of Chicago.This was one of the largest disasters for the United States in the 19th century. The exact cause was never determined. The best known cause was invented by a newspaper reporter who said it was Catherine O'Leary and her cow. The fast spread of the fire was helped by wooden city buildings. Also, a drought prior to the fire and strong winds carried embers into the center of the city.The city did not act quickly. At first, residents were not concerned about the fire. But as the fire rushed through neighborhoods, it destroyed mansions, houses and small apartments. The fire burned out of control for two days, until rain helped put it out. More than 300 people died in the fire and over 100,000 were left homeless.Thanks for watching, I'm Kyle Wegner. For more information on the Great Chicago Fire, please visit About.com.