The Fire Inquiry

Friday, November 24, 1871

The Board of Police and Fire Commissioners, on the second day of its inquiry into the causes of the fire, hears testimony from Catherine O’Leary.  She states, as she has previously, that she, her husband Patrick, and their five children were all in bed when the fire started, and that they knew nothing about it until their neighbor, Daniel Sullivan, aroused them with the news that their barn was ablaze.  While she cannot corroborate the story herself, she says she heard that the McLaughlins, who rent the front section of the O’Leary double cottage, were holding a party that evening and that one of the revelers had gone out to the barn to get milk to use in preparing an oyster dish.