09/26/10 220 W, 3 I - + 5 - 5 The Fire of 1851 - The Narrative

Time for some really old-school firefighting. Back before the city's first paid firefighters. Back before the first fire hydrants. Even earlier than the first steam fire engine. Let's climb into our stainless-steel DeLorean and travel with Doc Brown back to 1851. That's the year of the city's last great fire.

Seventeen buildings burned on Fayetteville, Hargett, and Wilmington Streets. The aftermath was an outcry by officials and citizens, and which resulted in drastic improvements to the city's capability for fighting fires. It also resulted in the first version of the Raleigh Fire Department as it's known today.

Mr. Blogger had been researching same for a couple years now, and has finally completed a formal essay on same: The Fire of 1851. But let's call it a monograph. That's a fancier title.

The 33-page document includes footnotes and full references for all sources. Same style as his previous essay, Birth of a Fire Department. Though quite a bit more dry. And all linked with other writings on my RFD history site.

Don't know if it would grade highly in a college history course, but it's an honest attempt at professional presentation. Got to play in the scholarly sandbox for a bit. The essay is version 1.0. Slight edits and corrections may appear later. Read and enjoy.

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