Flash flood watch for most of SE Wisconsin through 7 a.m. Saturday

Peshtigo fire killed at least 1,200 147 years ago

PESHTIGO — The most devastating fire in American history happened on Oct. 8 in Wisconsin 147 years ago.

The City of Peshtigo was wiped off the map by the burning inferno. Peshtigo Fire Museum curator Sally Kahl says 1,200 lost their lives. Few items exist from the 1871 fire, but the museum is filled with stories from those who survived the horrific ordeal.

WLUK-TV says on Monday, residents and visitors will gather at City Hall to honor those who died and those who survived.

The Peshtigo fire happened the same night as the Great Chicago Fire that killed 300 people and which seemed to garner more headlines at the time.

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