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Three Historic Fires In London

Fires have happened throughout history, some you may know, some you may not. Here are Three Historic Fires In London! 

fire hydrant The frozen fire at butler’s wharf

In 1931 firefighters battled with flames and frozen temperatures. To tackle the fire roughly 1,100 firefighters arrived. The warehouse on fire had large stocks of tea and rubber, the fire burnt throughout the day and night leaving a smell of burnt rubber.

The fire wasn’t extinguished for several days.

The unbearably cold conditions made the blaze difficult to tackle. The water froze as it ran down the wall and sheets of ice spread across the roads. The cold temperature meant they had to wrap hoses in blankets to hold them.

The king’s crossfire

On November 18th 1987 the London Underground experienced the worst fire to date. A lit match was dropped on the wooden escalators at Kings Cross underground that caused the fire. 150 firefighters and 30 fire engines attended the scene. The changes made after this fire were; 

  • replacing the wooden escalators,
  • the smoking ban extends to all station areas 
  • improved radio communications between firefighters.
fireGreat Fire of London

This historic fire, the majority of you will know. In 1666 the fire destroyed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, the royal exchange and st Pauls cathedral. Many of the buildings were made from timber and covered in a flammable substance called pitch. Houses were packed closely together, many with sheds and yards containing hay and straw. The previous summer had caused a drought and had dried out the wooden houses.

The fire began in a bakers shop on Pudding Lane. A fire was left and at 1 am that house was an inferno. A previous fire had destroyed a section of the London Bridge, therefore, the fire couldn’t reach the south of the river. 

There was no organised fire brigade and firefighting was very basic with little skill or knowledge. Using leather buckets, axes and water to fight the fire which had little effect. To stop the fire they pulled down and blew up houses in the path of the fire to stop it spreading.

Ultimately this began the of assembling the first fire brigades. 

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