Top 10 Most Costly Large-Loss Fires In U.S. History

($ millions)

      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when occurred  In 2014 dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 (3) $44,700 (3)
2 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 9,150
3 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,350
4 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, fire storm 1,500 2,640
5 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Firestorm 1,800 2,030
6 Nov. 9, 1872 Great Boston Fire 75 1,520
7 Oct. 23, 1989 Pasadena, Texas, polyolefin plant 750 1,420
8 May 4, 2000 Los Alamos, NM, Cerro Grande wildland fire 1,000 1,420
9 Oct. 25, 2003 Julian, CA, Cedar wildland fire  1,100 1,320
10 Feb. 7, 1904 Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Conflagration 50 1,320
(1) Loss estimates are from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records. The list is limited to fires for which some reliable dollar loss estimates exists. (2) Adjustment to 2013 dollars made by the NFPA using the Consumer Price Index, including the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the index for historical times; adjusted to 2014 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator. (3) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different deflators. Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2015 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.