The Famous Fires Quiz

By: Staff

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

The Great Fire of 1910 scorched 3 million acres and killed nearly 80 firefighters.

Where did the 1666 Great Fire of London begin?

More than 13,000 homes were destroyed, along with nearly 100 churches.

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

The ammo was bound for the front lines of World War I but instead caused the deaths of 2,000 locals.

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

The quake damaged gas lines and caused dozens of fires that destroyed the city.

How long did San Francisco burn following the earthquake?

In all, around 3,000 people died, making it one of the country's deadliest natural disasters.

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

The high death toll was exceeded by the nearly 2 million people who were left homeless.

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

More than 300 people were killed when the building burned in less than 10 minutes; there was no sprinkler system installed.

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

The 32-floor building burned for more than a day and is considered one of the worst fires in the city's history.

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

The vessel was full of recently released Civil War POWs who were heading home.

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

The boat was far over capacity when the disaster struck.

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

Flames started onstage and quickly spread to the rest of the building.

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

Pyrotechnics ignited foam soundproofing material immediately at the start of the show, sparking chaos.

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

The fire's incredible swiftness claimed 100 lives and could have been slowed by a sprinkler system, which the building did not have.

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

The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center caused fires and the eventual collapse of the mammoth structures.

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

No one knows for certain how the fire started, but it killed around 300 people.

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

Many sidewalks were made of wood, too, providing ample fuel for the blaze.

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

The tragedy led to all sorts of new regulations in the hopes of preventing a similar occurrence.

Why were the exits to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory locked?

At the end of work shifts, employees were required to line up for routine inspections to make sure they weren't taking materials home.

How many firefighters fought the 1988 Yellowstone fires?

About a third of the huge park burned but no human lives were lost.

Where did the "Fire Siege of 2003" occur?

It was perhaps the biggest wildfire in state history and killed 15 people.

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

The fire was started by a hunter who was lost in the woods and was hoping the smoke would attract rescuers.

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

More than 160 people died when the tent burst into flames.

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

It was recognized as an emergency signal of sorts within the circus community.

Where did the Iroquois Theater Fire happen?

More than 600 people died in a theater that touted its fireproof characteristics.

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

Public schools were expected to follow regulations, but a parochial school didn't necessarily have to.

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

They also initially drove to the wrong address.

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

Thousands of schools across the nation were inspected and fined for failing to meet regulations.

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

Nearly 500 people were killed in the 1942 blaze, leading to many new fire codes and standards.

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

The unfathomable firestorm burned at least 200,000 acres and killed more than 400 people.

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

The men used dynamite to halt the blaze but wound up destroying many structures that would have otherwise survived.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

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?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!