Friday, March 18, 2005

Cleveland in Flames

Pratie Place examines the causes of the 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River and the response of the city.
... On June 23, 1969, Cleveland's oily, contaminated Cuyahoga River caught fire. Flames climbed as high as five stories until fireboats brought it under control. The fire was attributed to wastes dumped into the river by the waterfront industries. Cleveland at the time was not particularly impressed. The Chief of Police was not called; the regular crew, which was always dispersing oil slicks and watching for river fires, had it under control in under half an hour. The only picture (left), taken after the fire was pretty much out, ran in two local papers the next day, but the only story was brief and buried. ...

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