Mary Fales woke suddenly to discover a strange glow lighting the night sky. Dry winds were spreading flames toward her house. She and her husband David needed to move fast to escape the spreading fire. In The Great Chicago Fire, readers will meet many people like Mary and her husband who suddenly fled when a small barn fire ignited into one of the greatest urban disasters in U.S. history. In narrative detail, kids will see how firefighters fought desperately to contain the blaze as businesses and homes burned to cinders. Despite efforts of rescuers and citizens, it took a cold rain to finally extinguish the flames. A series of primary-source quotes from actual survivors reveal the human drama, while a Profiles section lists key players in fighting the fire.