The McHenry County Fire Chiefs Association encourages residents to join area fire departments in commemorating National Fire Prevention Week.
Fire Prevention Week was established to mark the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. More than 250 people died and 100,000 were left homeless in the fire, which burned for two days.
Between the start of the fire Oct. 8 and when it was brought under control Oct. 9, 17,400 structures burned.
Although the Great Chicago Fire was destructive, it paled in comparison to another fire at the same time. The Peshtigo Fire in northern Wisconsin was the most devastating forest fire in American history.
It destroyed 16 towns, killed 1,152 people and burned 1.2 million wooded acres.
Fire Prevention Week has been commemorated since 1920, when President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation.
The week generally runs from Sunday to Saturday in the week in which Oct. 9 falls.
The McHenry County Fire Chiefs Association announced local events for the week:
• Cary: An open house will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Station 1 at 400 Cary-Algonquin Road.
• Crystal Lake: An open house will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Station 1 at 100 W. Woodstock St. For information, call public education coordinator Lt. Joyce Stevenson at 815-356-3640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Fox River Grove: An open house will run from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Station 1 at 411 Algonquin Road.
• Marengo: Marengo is having its Settlers’ Days activities. The Marengo Fire Department will have bingo from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Station 1 at 120 E. Prairie St. The department will host water fights and an open house at 3 p.m. Saturday in front of the station.
• McHenry Township: The department will host open houses at each of the fire stations starting at noon Sunday. Station 1 is at 3610 W. Elm St., McHenry; Station 2 is at 3780 Johnsburg Road, Johnsburg; Station 3 is at 809 Rand Road, Lakemoor; and Station 4 is at 6300 W. Dartmoor Drive, McHenry.
For information regarding these events, contact the individual agencies.