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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Great Fire of London

Before 1666, the phrase 'Great Fire of London' referred to the fires of 1135 and 1212.

The Great Fire of London broke out on September 2, 1666, beginning at the house of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker in Pudding Lane.

It burned for three days and is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of London's 80,000 inhabitants as well as 87 out of 109 churches.

Temperatures in Pudding Lane reached 1,700 degrees centigrade during the Great Fire of London. This heat cremated remains of victims leaving no recognizable remains.

The official death toll from the fire is only six people but many more unrecorded poor people must have been killed by the flames or smoke.

Samuel Pepys buried his wine and a wheel of Parmesan cheese in a pit in his garden to keep them safe from the fire.

King Charles II fought the Great Fire of London personally. He lifted buckets of water and threw money to reward people who stayed to fight the flames.

Nine days after the Great Fire of London, Christopher Wren prepared a plan for rebuilding the city which he presented King Charles II with. In it he removed the crowded alleyways which were a fire and health hazard. All new streets would have one of three widths - 90,60 or 30 feet.

Many of London's citizens were left homeless and had to live in makeshift camps through the bitter winter of 1666-67.

A monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and put up in 1677 as a permanent memorial to the Great Fire.

The Monument is 202 feet high, which is its exact distance from the site in Pudding Lane where the fire started.

It has been said that the Monument has killed more than the fire, as six suicides and two accidents have resulted in eight fatal falls.

The Great Fire led to the world's first insurance company, The Fire Office, being founded in 1667.

Source Daily Express

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