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Church of the Company Fire facts for kids

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Church of the Company Fire is the largest fire accident ever by death toll in the world. It occured on 1863 December 8 in Santiago, Chile. About 2000 to 3000 people are said to have been killed in the fire accident.

Church of the Company of Jesus was a Jesuit church located in Santiago, Chile.The day of the fire was the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The fire started at 7 P.M. when an oil lamp had ignited the place and it got fire.

The cleanup took about ten days. A Santiago newspaper printed the names of over 2,000 known victims, and the same paper also printed a list of the objects saved by the priests and their value, which led to public outcry against the priests who had saved valuable objects but not people.

The tragedy, and the fact that one of the contributing factors was the lack of an organized fire-brigade, motivated José Luis Claro y Cruz to organize the first Volunteer Firemen's Corps in Santiago, on December 20 of the same year. Fire brigades in Chile, even today, are still made up only of unpaid volunteers. New fire regulations also resulted, and the tragedy contributed to the partial secularization of Chilean government over the next two decades.

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