HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Famous Fires Quiz
by Staff
Fire is one of the most elemental aspects of human life, and it is often one of the most destructive. How much do you know about famous fires in history?

Where did the biggest fire in U.S. history occur?

  • Wyoming and Colorado
  • California and Oregon
  • Idaho, Montana and Washington

Where did the 1666 Great Fire of London begin?

  • in a bakery
  • in a wine shop
  • at a cobber's store

In 1917, what material was onboard a ship named Mont-Blanc when it caught fire and exploded in Nova Scotia?

  • textiles
  • gasoline
  • ammunition

What was the magnitude of the 1906 earthquake that started the San Francisco fire?

  • 6.9
  • 7.8
  • 8.1

How long did San Francisco burn following the earthquake?

  • three days
  • four days
  • a week

How many people died in the 1923 Tokyo fire, which was started by an earthquake?

  • 142,000
  • 212,000
  • 363,000

In what year did the L'Innovation department story fire happen in Brussels, Belgium?

  • 1967
  • 1946
  • 1932

How many people were killed in the 2005 Windsor Tower fire in Spain?

  • none
  • 14
  • 89

In 1865, how many people died during the explosion and fire aboard the Sultana riverboat?

  • 300
  • 200
  • 1,800

What was the listed capacity of the Sultana riverboat when it exploded and caught fire?

  • 376
  • 855
  • 1,523

Which 80s band was performing the night of The Station nightclub fire in 2003?

  • Twisted Sister
  • Great White
  • Warrant

How long did the Great White performance last before the fire started?

  • two songs
  • three songs
  • less than one song

Once The Station fire started, how long did it take to burn the entire building to the ground?

  • about 6 minutes
  • about 28 minutes
  • about an hour

In what year did the deadliest fire in U.S. history occur?

  • 1911
  • 1951
  • 2001

How many buildings were burned in 1917's Great Chicago Fire?

  • 1,700
  • 17,000
  • 45

What factor contributed to the fast spread of the Great Chicago Fire?

  • roads were made of wood
  • hundreds of cases of arson
  • gas stations on every corner

How many sweatshop workers lost their lives in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire?

  • 146
  • 212
  • 384

Why were the exits to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory locked?

  • To make sure workers weren't clocking out early
  • To keep workers from taking breaks
  • To prevent employees from stealing

How many firefighters fought the 1988 Yellowstone fires?

  • 5,000
  • 10,000
  • 25,000

Where did the "Fire Siege of 2003" occur?

  • California
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

How many buildings were destroyed by the Fire Siege of 2003?

  • about 500
  • about 2,800
  • about 4,200

What caught on fire during the Hartford Circus disaster in 1944?

  • the big top tent
  • the grandstands
  • the animal cages

When the Hartford Circus fire started, what song did the band begin to play?

  • "The Star-Spangled Banner"
  • "Taps"
  • "The Stars and Stripes Forever"

Where did the Iroquois Theater Fire happen?

  • New York City
  • San Antonio
  • Chicago

In late 1950s Chicago, why didn't the Our Lady of the Angels school administrators follow contemporary fire regulations?

  • corruption
  • As a private school, they didn't have to.
  • They weren't made aware of the regulations.

Why were firefighters unable to help children on the second floor during the Our Lady of the Angels fire?

  • Their ladders were too short.
  • Their trucks broke down.
  • They abandoned their posts.

What happened in response to the Our Lady of the Angels fire?

  • Five administrators were arrested.
  • The entire administration was fired.
  • Regulations were strictly enforced.

What was the name of the business in the worst nightclub fire in U.S. history?

  • Happy Land
  • Cocoanut Grove
  • The Station

In 1894, how long did the Great Hinckley Fire in Minnesota last?

  • four hours
  • four days
  • four weeks

In the 1906 San Francisco fire, about how many of the buildings may have been destroyed by men trying to stop the fires?

  • about 25 percent
  • about 50 percent
  • about 75 percent