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Synopsis

On the Fourth of July in 1866, joy turned to tragedy in Portland, Maine. A boy threw a firecracker onto a pile of wood shavings and it erupted in a blaze as residents prepared to celebrate the 110th anniversary of American independence in the momentous time following the Civil War. The violent conflagration killed two people and destroyed all structures on nearly thirty streets. Authors Michael Daicy and Don Whitney, both firefighters, chronicle the day’s catastrophic events, as well as the bravery of those who fought the ferocious fire, dispelling the myth that ill-trained firefighting contributed to the devastation.

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