As I said, I was on a quest for history. As I was mentioning it in a few of those posts, you wouldn't think that there would be a connection, but sure enough there was.
A combination of dry weather and the fact that many of the structures in Chicago at the time were built of wood caused the fire to spread. Not only were some of the buildings made out of wood but many of the sidewalks were as well. This was compounded by the fact that Chicago only had 171 firefighters that manned 17 horse drawn fire engines. The firefighters were sent to the wrong locations and the fire spread.
As the fire spread, the city's water main was destroyed. After a gallant effort by the city's fire fighters, it was put out on October 10th. By that time, 3.3 square miles of city was destroyed and up to 300 people were killed.
The O'Leary legend was pretty much debunked although it's still not clear was caused the original fire. One main result of the fire was that Chicago was remade using more modern city planning techniques, hence the fact that it is pretty much a grid.
I can only guess about why the city was called Singapore. If I were going to take a stab, I would say that it was a town located at the end of a peninsula like Singapore.
In 1842, there was a forty day blizzard that would have wiped out the city had there not been a shipwreck that supplied the city during that period. In 1846, the town would change ownership.
I guess one of the things that I like about history is that there are many lessons that can be applied to modern times. One of the lessons here is that we shouldn't mess with nature too much. Sometimes, nature has a way of biting us back. The other lesson is that you can under prepare for major fires. It seems like there is a current trend of cutting fire fighters and I have a feeling that may come back to bite us. Another thing about history is that sometimes unconnected events can react in unimagined ways. Who would think a series of fires would lead to the disappearance of an unrelated town?