Some 17 years after much of downtown burned down during the Great Fire of 1872 , and exactly 53 years before the deadly Cocoanut Grove fire , the Thanksgiving Day Fire on Nov. 28, 1889 destroyed several buildings in what is now the Financial District - and killed four active firefighters and one retired firefighter when the walls of the Ames Building collapsed on them.
The day after the conflagration, the front page of the Globe blared:
Heart of City
The Globe reported:
A little spark of fire that came from who knows where lodged in some inflammable material at the corner of the New England Shoe and Leather Association's building on Bedford street yesterday morning, some time before 8 o'clock.
A few minutes after that hour, a little spire of smoke began to rise from the roof of the building, and before a police officer, who had seen it, and rung in an alarm, a jet of fire sprang up where the smoke had been.
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