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From the Archives | Photos

From the Archives: The Great Chelsea Fire of 1908

The Great Fire swept through Chelsea on April 12, 1908. At right, schooners and other fishing vessels were tied up in Chelsea Creek. Carried by strong winds, flaming embers set fires 25 miles away on the South Shore. The fire cut a mile and half long swath through Chelsea with losses totaling over $12 million dollars.
The Great Fire swept through Chelsea on April 12, 1908. At right, schooners and other fishing vessels were tied up in Chelsea Creek. Carried by strong winds, flaming embers set fires 25 miles away on the South Shore. The fire cut a mile and half long swath through Chelsea with losses totaling over $12 million dollars.Associated Press

Swirling winds drove the flames quickly, and soon a huge swath of Chelsea was consumed. Nearly 3,000 buildings were destroyed and 19 people lost their lives during the Great Chelsea Fire of April 12, 1908. Smoke and flames were visible for miles, and burning embers carried aloft sparked fires in towns along the South Shore. Losses totaled over $12 million. The cause of the fire is still unknown.