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San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

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The San Francisco earthquake and fire last week was catastrophic and caused a lot of destruction and hardship to the people living there.

The area of the burned district of the city was huge, covering a widespread 4.7 square miles, killing 700 people, and leaving 225,000 homeless.

Water and gas lines broke, leaving almost no clean water, and starting a fire. Some people lost everything they owned, while others had lots of their belongings that were all destroyed. Thousands of people lost others that they loved.

San Francisco was a complete disaster. People were devastated, and there was an amazing amount of damage. San Francisco would never be the same again.

Destruction from the earthquake and fire:

As a result of the earthquake and fire, there was a lot of damage and destruction. The area of the burned district covered 4.7 square miles.

Fire rages through San Francisco’s main streets, burning everything in its path.

When asked to describe some of the damage that the fire caused, Louise Herrick Wall, a survivor of the earthquake, said, “When the fire had swept the Mission and most of the waterfront bare, and was rushing against and overwhelming the great business blocks of the main thoroughfares, at the moment attacking the heart of San Francisco itself; when Market street was the fuel through which the fire sucked its air from the bay.”

As a result of the earthquake and fire, many of the water and gas lines broke, leaving the people of San Francisco with very little clean water, and rationing out what was left of it. One eyewitness, Emma Burke, said, while describing it, “...water was now more precious than gold, and not a drop must be wasted. Many of the mains were broken, and no one knew how the reservoirs were.”

People’s belongings were all destroyed as well. Mary Myrtle Longinetti Shaw, a survivor, told us that “ we walked by our house, we could see that all of our belongings were burned.”

Assistant to the Postmaster Burke, survivor of the earthquake, described the destruction in more detail. He said, “Walls had been thrown into the middle of various rooms, destroying furniture and covering everything with dust. In the main corridors, the marble was split and cracked, while the mosaics were shattered and had come rattling down upon the floor. Chandeliers



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