Largest fire losses in the United States

 

 

 

Loss in Year Fire Occurred

 

 

Adjusted Loss
in 2017 Dollars

 

1. The World Trade Center
New York City, New York
September 11, 2001

$33.4 billion

$46.3 billion

2. Northern California Wildfire
Urban Interface Fire
October 8, 2017

$10 billion $10 billion

3. San Francisco Earthquake and Fire
San Francisco, California
April 18, 1906

(See Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco for more information on this disaster.)

$350 million

$9.5 billion

4. Great Chicago Fire *
Chicago, Illinois
October 8-9, 1871

$168 million

$3.4 billion

5. Oakland Fire Storm
(wildland/urban interface)
Oakland, California
October 20, 1991

$1.5 billion

$2.7 billion

6. The Southern California Firestorm
San Diego County, California
October 20, 2007

$1.8 billion

$2.1 billion

7. Southern California Wildfire
Urban Interface Fire
December 14, 2017

$1.8 billion $1.8 billion
8. The Valley Fire
Lake County, CA
September 12, 2015
 $1.5 billion $1.6 billion

9. Great Boston Fire
Boston, Massachusetts
November 9, 1872

$75 million

$1.5 billion

10. Polyolefin Plant
Pasadena, Texas
October 23, 1989

$750 million

$1.5 billion

11. "Cerro Grande" Wildland Fire
(wildland/urban interface)
Los Alamos, New Mexico
May 4, 2000

$1.0 billion

$1.4 billion

12. "Cedar" Wildland Fire
Julian, California
October 25, 2003

$1.1 billion

$1.4 billion

13. Baltimore Conflagration
Baltimore, Maryland
February 7, 1904

$50 million

$1.4 billion

14. "Old" Wildland Fire
San Bernardino, California
October 25, 2003

$975 million

$1.3 billion

15. Los Angeles Civil Disturbance
Los Angeles, California
April 29 - May 1, 1992

$567 million

$992 million

16. Power Plant
(auto manufacturing complex)
Dearborn, Michigan
February 1, 1999

$650 million

 

$956 million

 

17. Southern California November Wildfire**
Sacramento, California
November 13, 2008

$800 million

$912 million

18. "Laguna Beach Fire"
(wildland/urban interface)
Orange County, California
October 27, 1993

$528 million

$896 million

19. Textile Mill
Methuen, Massachusetts
December 11, 1995

$500 million

$804 million

20. U.S.S. Lafayette
(formerly S.S. Normandie ocean liner)
New York, New York
February 9, 1942

$53 million

$797 million

21. S.S. Grandcamp and
Chemical Co. Plant
Texas City, Texas
April 16, 1947

$67 million

$736 million

22. Petroleum Refinery
Norco, Louisiana
May 5, 1988

$330 million

$684 million

23. Cargo plane in-flight fire
Near Newburgh, New York
September 5, 1996

$395 million

$618 million

24. Great Fire of New York
New York, New York
December 16, 1835

$26 million

$615 million

25. Wildland Fire**
Florida
May – June, 1998

$395 million

$593 million

Loss estimates are from NFPA records. Adjustment to 2103 dollars done using the Consumer Price Index, including Census Bureau estimates for historical times. The list is limited to fires with some reliable dollar-loss estimate that occur in or over the U.S.A. 

*Each year Fire Prevention Week falls in the week of October 9th, and thus the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is dedicated to encouraging fire safety. The National Fire Protection Association has been the proud sponsor of Fire Prevention Week ever since it was first proclaimed in 1922 by President Warren G. Harding. 

**Includes multiple fires. 

Updated 12/18