Archbold, OH
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The Cow Didn’t Do It



Everyone has heard the tale of the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-9, 1871: Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a lantern, and started a fire that destroyed much of the city.

Except the National Fire Protection Association says it’s not true. Reports at the time say Mrs. O’Leary said she was in bed early that night, and the cows were safely in the barn. Theories about the start of the fire range from boys sneaking a cigarette to meteorites.

Whatever the cause, 250 people were killed, more than 100,000 were left homeless, and more than 17,000 buildings were destroyed.

On the 40th anniversary of the great Chicago fire, Fire Prevention Week was started, not as a commemoration, but as a way to remind the public of the importance of fire prevention.

Archbold has had its share of fires as well. A 1913 fire destroyed much of the east side of the historic downtown business district; a June 1934 fire did the same. Sauder Woodworking burned twice, in 1934 and 1945; three children died in a 1978 house fire. The Lugbill auction barn burned to the ground, Dec. 10, 1943.

As you go through your busy day, it only takes a moment to think about fire safety– simple, everyday things, from throwing away worn-out extension cords to keeping papers away from heating elements. Make sure your home has smoke detectors, and that they’re in working order.

Don’t let what happened in Chicago, or in Archbold, happen again.


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