Last time, we took a closer look at the fire history of San Francisco. If you missed it, you can find it by clicking here. Today, we are going to dig a little deeper into the fire of 1851 and the devastating fires caused by the earthquake of 1906.  

May 1851

Between the years of 1849 and 1851, San Francisco was nearly destroyed by fire on seven different occasions. Each time a fire wracked the city, the people rebuilt, attempting to find new and better ways to fireproof their abodes. One method that gained popularity was using corrugated iron in the construction of shacks. When a fire broke out in May of 1851, many tried to find shelter in their new “fire-proof” homes, where they were trapped and cooked alive. Keeping a stiff upper lip through the adversity, workers were able to rebuild at least a fifth of the city in a matter of days, just in time for the next fire that rampaged through the city in June of the same year.

Fire and Quakes

On April 18, 1906, one of the worst natural disasters in American history brought San Francisco to its knees. Modern analysis points to the great earthquake of 1906 registering at 8.25 on the Richter scale. The quake ruptured the ground surface running along the San Andreas fault for nearly 290 miles, and shifted the ground at about 4 to 5 feet a second. All in all, the quake only lasted a couple minutes, but when the dust settled, nearly 225,000 San Franciscans were left homeless. As bad as the earthquake was, the fires that sprang up in its wake were far worse. Nearly 80% of the city was destroyed by fire in the days following the event.

San Franciscans, like other hardy Californians, persevered in the face of adversity and brought us the beautiful city we know and love today. But even with modern technology and awareness, it is still vital to dedicate time and resources to fire safety and fire protection systems. A-Total Fire Protection is proud to serve our great city, providing fire inspection services and valuable insight. To learn more about the fire safety services we provide, contact us today.