In photo above, Alex Palomares, Kyle Zaremba, firefighter/paramedic and Captain Mike McDonnell showed families around Fire Station 2 at 702 Madison St.

The Evanston Fire Department kicked off Fire Prevention Week a day early with open houses on Oct. 2. The week’s theme this year was “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With.” Fire prevention week frames the anniversaries of two major Midwest fires, one in Chicago and one in Peshtigo, Wis., both occurring on Oct. 8, 1871: the Great Chicago Fire and the Great Peshtigo Fire. While the blaze in Chicago has gone down in history as the largest and most devastating in the nation’s history, that title actually belongs to the conflagration that took place in Peshtigo.The Chicago fire left around 250 dead; Peshtigo’s more than 1,200. The Peshtigo forest fire spread over the town and 15 others, charring 1.2 million acres of land in northeastern Wisconsin.