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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Significant Illinois Fires: Introduction

This is a guide to resources online and at IFSI Library that discuss significant fires in Illinois.

How to Use This Libguide

Each tab of this LibGuide details a specific Illinois fire or incident. Each fire has a summary of the events, a section of resources at IFSI Library, online resources with links, and some include a section with online book resources and/or video resources. Each resource includes a description so users know exactly what each resource contains, and each IFSI Library resource includes a link to the catalog so users can make requests of the items.

IFSI Library Lending Policies

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact us. We welcome any and all inquiries!


Local Lending

  • Standard loan period is 4 weeks.
  • Extensions are considered upon request.
  • Requested materials can be picked up in person at IFSI.
  • Photo ID is required to establish a lending account.
  • Lending is limited to Illinois residents.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

  • Standard loan period is 6 weeks.
  • IFSI Library materials can be delivered to a patron’s Illinois local library through ILL service.
  • A public library card is required.
  • ILL delivery to your public library may take up to 2 weeks.


  • Materials in the Illinois Fire Service Archives do not circulate, but patrons are welcome to use these resources in the IFSI Library.
  • Additional access restrictions may also apply.

Significant Illinois Fires

Photo of the Great Chicago Fire, from the Chicago Tribune.

This guide was produced by the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Library to bring together resources about significant fires in the history of Illinois. These resources include books and audiovisual material available at the IFSI Library, as well as freely available online material, including articles, websites, books, and videos. The primary audience of this guide is fire fighters and emergency responders, but students and members of the public with an interest in Illinois and American history might also find this guide useful. Each tab of this guide contains information about a different fire.

IFSI Library

The IFSI Library houses more than 65,000 items, including books, periodicals, manuals, codes and standards, DVDs, CDs, e-resources, audiobooks and other fire emergency resources. The library exists to serve all first responders in the state of Illinois. Users can request materials in-person, via telephone or email, or through the Online Catalog. The catalog may be searched keyword, title, author, subject, or publisher, and the search can be limited to specific formats. You may enter as many or as few search terms as you would like; the more search parameters the fewer results there will be, but those results will be more specific. You can visit us in person, or, if you live in the state of Illinois and have an Illinois library card, we can send the materials you want to your local library via interlibrary loan.

General Resources

Contact IFSI Staff

For Information, Assistance, or User Training Contact:

Phone: 217-333-8925 or Toll Free: 800-437-5819

Fax: 217-333-8379 (Library) or 217-244-6792 (IFSI)


Library Hours

Monday – Friday:

8:00 am – 5:00 pm


Head Librarian

Lian Ruan:

Reference & User Training Librarian

Diane Richardson:

Assistant Director for Library Operations

David Ehrenhart:

Libguide created by Quinn Stitt

Contact with questions or concerns.