Never has a tragic fire accident been known the world over throughout several centuries than the Great Fire of London. The five-day blaze turned London into an inferno, destroying most parts of the city.
September 2, 1666 made world history when it marked the onset of the Great Fire of London. The fire, which started in Thomas Farynor’s bakery at Pudding Lane just after midnight, spread rapidly. The destruction which lasted for five days destroyed more than 370 acres within the city, 63 acres outside it, and over 13,000 houses. But despite this great catastrophe, it’s amazing that there were only six persons known to have died from the fire. Since the fire burned houses that were built so close together, it was believed that it probably ended the city’s Great Plague the year before which killed 17,440 of its 93,000 population.
During that time, the normal procedure to douse fires was to create fire breaks. This is done by demolishing all the houses along the path of the fire. But the Great Fire of London spread fast because fire breaks were ordered by the Mayor only after the fire has gone way out of control. Because of this, the fire went on untamed for three more days, halting close to the Temple Church, before turning ablaze once again and heading on to Westminster. Fortunately, the Duke of York created a fire break by having the Paper House destroyed. This finally ended the Great Fire of London.
Few may have perished in the Great Fire of London. However, the destruction to the property was staggering. That is why Charles II had the city redesigned by six appointed Commissioners. The proposal was to create streets that are much wider than the previous ones, and buildings that are made of bricks instead of timber. By the year 1671, they were able to build 9,000 houses and buildings. A monument of the Great Fire of London was also built and is still existent today right at the spot where the bakery used to stand.
A certain Robert Hubert admitted to have started the Great Fire of London. However absurd his story was, and even though his trial proved that his confession was ludicrous, he was still hanged for the crime because everyone was eager to point the blame on somebody. This fact is evidence enough that the Great Fire of London is a huge part of London’s history.