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Great Hinckley Fire
In the morning of September 1, 1894, a smart breeze sprang up from the south fanning the fires which extended over the thousands of acres southeast and west of Hinckley. In all, 459 people perished in Hinckley and surrounding villages, with virtually all the structures wiped out.
The fierce flaming heat became so intense in certain localities, it created what seemed to be a vacuum. The vacuum would then quickly fill with violent and explosive gases; yet at times appear entirely at rest in spite of the brisk south wind.