This fire started in the vacant Donaldson's Department Store, then spread to the Northwestern National Bank building. Minneapolis firefighters fought this blaze without loss of life and saved the lower floors of the bank building, including Charles Lindbergh's first airplane, a Curtiss Jenny biplane, hanging in the bank's lobby. As a result of this fire, a state law was passed providing low-cost loans to owners of existing buildings for installing fire protection systems such as alarms and sprinklers. At the time of this fire, the insurance industry ranked it the fourth-costliest in U.S. history, with damages totaling about $91 million. The Chicago fire of 1871 was ranked second. Wells Fargo and the Saks Fifth Avenue department store occupy this site today.
~Kathleen Quinn, Minneapolis, MN
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