Under a flaming sky : the great Hinckley firestorm of 1894

by Daniel Brown

Hardcover, 2006





Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, c2006.


Describes the devastating events of September 1894, when two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, and surrounding communities, trapping more than two thousand people and ultimately costing more than four hundred lives.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jtlauderdale
There are several accounts of this tragedy available but this is the most readable I've come across. The author's personal connection to the disaster (his grandfather survived it) allows him to bring the story home to the modern reader. I liked how he brought current-day Hinckley into the story. There is a good index. Don't miss the P. S. section at the end of the paperback version; it's easy to overlook.… (more)
LibraryThing member Schmerguls
The author's great-grandfather died in the horrendous fire which devastated Pine County, Minnesota on Sep 1, 1894. The book tells the story of the ordeal very well, and even though it is gruesome to read about the fire and the things that the persons caught in it went through I thought the book well done and well worth reading. In the Epilogue the author tells of his 2004 visit to Hinckley--and this brought the book to an inspiring end. Over 436 people died in the fire--and in that day the effort to get help to them and the survivors was so crude compared to the present time that one feels really frustrated as one reads the book.… (more)
LibraryThing member stezton
I found this book to be a really good read. Even though he's recounting history it doesn't drag in any way. There is plenty of dialog which leaves me wondering how much is accurate, but it does help keep it interesting. To help the reader get a sense of the intensity and scope of the fire the author spends a page or two at various points explaining what was taking place scientifically. These passages are not too hard to grasp for the layman and help the reader understand better.

In all, I recommend this book to anyone that finds the description appealing. I definitely found it to be well-written and entertaining.
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LibraryThing member ceddle
recalls Currie participation during the fire
LibraryThing member Bandings
Written as a mix of history and historical novel, "Under a Flaming Sky" tells the story of Hinckley, Minnesota and the surrounding area as it was destroyed by a fire storm on September 1, 1894.

The author of this book did immense research to include details found in many other sources, but brought together in this tome. To keep the story flowing, the author created some dialog but based it on quotations found in other sources. The book ends up feeling like a storytelling mixed with background facts (about what happens to a body that has suffered great burns, about the history of fire fighting, etc.)

I have read this book at least four times. Each time I read it I think I will remember everything, yet the next time I read it I find things I'd forgotten. This is not due to any lack in the writing; rather, it is difficult for one's mind to comprehend the immensity of this tragedy.

I highly recommend this for anyone interested in the history of Minnesota, in the history of fire fighting, and for general factual reading.
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LibraryThing member 2wonderY
Perhaps it was the subject matter, or maybe Brown has improved vastly. After reading (twice!) and loving The Boys in the Boat, I wanted all this author can write. This book was competent, but not nearly as skillful or engaging. I'm glad to have read it, mostly for the historical aspects. There is lots to contemplate in the story. Brown accomplishes a good balancing of on the spot re-creation and background information. But his characters in this book can't compare to Joe Rantz and George Pocock.… (more)
LibraryThing member wholewatermelon
It was amazing to me that these events really happened. This fire terrorized so many people, and their stories are amazing. It was written so well, and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.



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