Wrath of God: Fire Under the Big Top (2000)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Social History, Tragedies & Catastrophes  |   Run Time - 50 min.  |  
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This series from the History Channel explores some of the most dangerous and deadly natural disasters of all time, including this episode on a great fire that swept through a circus big top in 1944. At this time, circuses were using a highly flammable material to waterproof their tents. On this occasion, in Hartford, CT, a fire started during a circus performance and because of the flammability of the tent, it quickly raged out of control. In the end, the fire killed 168 people and injured over 550 more, but it did lead to vastly improved fire safety in America. There is footage shown of the fire and its aftermath, including interviews with historians and lawyers, who talk about the sorrow and devastation of this horrific incident.

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Keywords

circus, destruction, fire-disaster, natural-disaster