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After a massive earthquake rocked the city of San Francisco on April 18, 1906, fires erupted all around the city from ruptured gas lines, overturned stoves and electric wires. This fire would rage for three days causing as much as 90% of the damage brought in by the earthquake. As the conflagration moved from block to block and district to district, every available fire-fighter and fire engine was pushed into service. Unfortunately, along with gas lines water mains were broken too and many of the city’s fire hydrants ran dry leaving the city’s locals and fire-fighters scrambling for water sources.

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Photo credit: David Sawyer/Flickr

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