Antiqua Print Gallery Quebec City fires
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Quebec City fires

Fire was often a problem for Quebec City in the 19th Century. On May 28, 1845, the Saint-Roch neighborhood went up in flames, destroying 1,630 homes and stores and over 3,000 shops and warehouses. Nearly two-thirds of the neighborhood’s homes were lost, leaving 1,200 homeless and 50 dead. A month later, fire struck again in the Saint-Jean Baptiste neighborhood: two churches, three schools, and 1,300 homes burned to the ground, leaving thousands homeless. According to contemporary accounts, the flames could be seen from as far away as Trois-Rivières! A full-time fire department was set up in 1858, but this didn’t prevent other neighborhoods from falling prey to flames in 1866, 1870, 1876, 1881, and 1889.

(Source City of Quebec)