On October 8, 1871, in or around a place called Peshtigo, Wisconsin, several men were setting small fires in the woods. This was a common practice in clearing land for expanding railroads or for expanding farm land. Except, on this particular day, something unexpected happened. A cold front moved into the area creating winds that were close to hurricane force. The winds fanned the flames and the resulting Peshtigo Firestorm still can claim the ignominious title as the “deadliest wildfire” in American history.continue at Aleteia
To this day, no wildfire in the U.S. has ever caused more deaths. It is estimated close to 2,500 people perished in the raging 2,000-degree inferno. But there is an incredible side-bar to this story. Miraculously, there was a small group of people who were not harmed at all and they were right in the middle of the blaze. They were with Adele Brise.
Adele Brise was 24 years old when she arrived in Wisconsin with her parents from Belgium in 1855. A devout Catholic, Adele had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and prayed daily. On Sunday, October 2, 1859, Adele was walking home through the woods when she saw a woman clothed in white standing between a hemlock and a maple tree. The woman was encased in a bright light and had a yellow sash around her waist. A crown of stars was above her long, blond hair. Adele, filled with fear, began praying and the vision disappeared. She told her mom and dad about it and they told her that maybe it was a soul in need of prayers.