Video | Downtown Disasters | Chicago Stories

Chicago Stories: Downtown Disasters — Full Episode

Chicago Stories recalls two Loop disasters: the Iroquois Theatre Fire and the Loop flood.

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Chicago Stories: Downtown Disasters

Chicago Stories recalls two very different disasters that occurred in the heart of Chicago’s Loop 90 years apart: First, the deadliest building fire in U.S. history: the 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire.

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An 'Absolutely Fireproof' New Theater

The Iroquois Theater was a brand-new, opulent theater considered to be "absolutely fireproof" and designed to boost Chicago’s reputation as a world-class city.

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The Aftermath of the Iroquois Theater Fire

In the wake of the Iroquois Theater Fire, the city, theaters, builders, and other groups involved learned painful lessons about fire safety.

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The Flood Stud

The man in charge of fixing the Loop flood, John Kenny, earns a strange nickname from the press and becomes a local celebrity.

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The Great Chicago Fire

On October 10, 1871, Chicago awoke to an unrecognizable landscape: where 48 hours earlier there had been a vibrant city, now there was nothing but rubble stretched for miles on end.