Thursday, February 14, 2008

Great fire of London

The Great Fire of London was a very intense and uncontrolled fire that spread through the core parts of London from September 2 to September 1666. The fire completely destroyed the medieval city of London inside the old Roman City Wall. However it did not reach the aristocratic Westminster district and the Palace of Whitehall. The fire destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St.Paul Cathedral, and offices of the City authorities. There is no official recordings of the death toll, and it is thought to have been small. The heat of the fire may have cremated many people, leaving no recognizable remains.

The fire started at the Farriner bakery in Pudding Lane in midnight on 2 September. Those times, the major firefighting technique was the creation of firebreaks by means of demolition. The creation of firebreaks was delayed due to the indecisiveness of Sir Thomas Bloodworth, Lord Mayor of London. By the time the firefighting was ordered, the fire started spreading like a firestorm and defeated any measures of firebreaks. The fire then spread in to the heart of the City. The Londoners in the City started to target the Dutch and French, as rumors arose of suspicious foreigners setting fires because of the ongoing Second Anglo-Dutch War. These foreigners became victims of lynchings and street violence. Fire eventually destroyed the St.Pauls Cathedral. The fire fighting efforts greatly mobilized the fire. But the fire went down because the strong east winds died down.

The people in London were evacuated and the King Charles II ordered the settlement elsewhere. The reconstruction of London began with the same street plan it had.

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