The Great Salem Fire started at 1:37 PM on June 25, 1914 at the Korn Leather Factory located at 57 Boston Street. Fire departments from the following cities and towns responded to the alarms: Peabody, Lynn, Beverly, Swampscott, Marblehead, Boston, Chelsea, Wakefield, Danvers, Reading, Stoneham, Newburyport, Revere, Lawrence, Malden, Gloucester, Manchester, Medford, Hingham, Somerville, Winchester. In 1914, Salem's population was approximately, 48,000. The city covered 5100 acres and had 5826 buildings with a total valuation of $37,250,000. By the time it was through, "the conflagration [had] burned 253 acres, 1,376 buildings, the territory covered being 1 1/2 miles long by 1/2 mile wide the entire loss probably being much in excess of $15,000,000.00 the insurance loss paid $11,744,000.00, people homeless almost 20,000 and out of work, about 10,000." In the aftermath of the fire, Salem created a rebuilding commission charged with developing new building code and city planning regulations.
Distant view of an area destroyed in the Great Salem Fire
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