On July 10, 1893 a fire in the Cold Storage Building of the Columbian Exposition resulted in the loss of 15 lives and the largest single incident loss of life in Chicago Fire Department history to that point in time. The large painted metal statue of Christopher Columbus which stood in the center of the main east entrance of the building had to be pulled down by firemen in order to make room for equipment. The Statue was later slated to be a monument at Oakwoods Cemetery in honor of the fallen but it did not meet with Oakwoods Cemetery regulations and was donated to the Fire Department. The statue is now cared for by the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago.
Read the full story of the Statue here.