1. Great Fire of New York (1776)
On September 21, 1776, a fire broke out on the southern end of Manhattan. New York City was occupied by British forces at the time and many accused them of starting the fire, while others accused American Patriots of attempting to destroy the city in order to prevent the British from enjoying it. The fire burned throughout the night and destroyed approximately 20% of the city with somewhere between 400 and 1,000 buildings destroyed. No arson charges were ever laid, despite dozens of promising suspects.