It's fire prevention week and one of the highlights of my son Dylan's birthday party over the weekend was the opportunity the kids had hopping onto a real fire truck, ringing the bell and getting some fire prevention tips from Utica's finest firemen. Did you know that on this date, one of the biggest fires in American history occurred?

On October 8th 1871, the Great Chicago Fire began, when, according to legend, Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in her barn. A true American tragedy as over 250 people died and 17,450 buildings were destroyed by the fire.