On this day in 1835, a great fire swept through New York destroying over 500 buildings and claiming the lives of two people. The fire reportedly did what would be hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.
The fire started on Merchant street and spread quickly through the lower Manhatten area. Firefighters battled below freezing temperatures that froze hose lines and hand pumps. Exposure buildings were eventually blown up using gunpowder to stop the spread of the fire.