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Lane End

Primary School

‘Learn and Believe, Aspire and Achieve’

The Great Fire of London

When did the Great Fire of London start?

The Great Fire of London started on 2nd September 1666 and lasted just under five days. It was one of the worst disasters in London's history.


What caused the Great Fire of London?

At 1 a.m. on 2nd September, the fire began in Thomas Farriner's bakery on Pudding Lane. Historians think that a spark from his oven may have fallen onto wood for fuel nearby and caught fire.


Why did the Great Fire of London spread so quickly?

  • The London summer of 1666 had been very hot with no rain. As a result, the city was very dry, which meant the wooden houses and buildings caught fire extremely easily.

  • In addition, there were many warehouses nearby which were full of flammable materials such as wood and oil. This helped to spread the fire.

  • Rather than trying to help to put out the flames, many Londoners tried to flee the fire and initially there were no organised firefighters to put out the blaze.

  • Finally, there was also a very strong wind which blew the fire from house to house in the narrow London streets.  


How was the Great Fire of London put out?

At first, Londoners tried to put out the fire with buckets of water. They also tried to pull down houses to stop the fire but the fire was spreading so fast it was always ahead of them.

On Tuesday 4th September, gunpowder began to be used to blow up the houses. The wind finally dropped and 'posts' of 130 firefighters were set up around London to help bring the fire under control.


How much of London was destroyed?

During this time, at least 70,000 people became homeless and about one-third of London was destroyed. Over 90 churches were destroyed, including St Paul's cathedral.


What changed after the fire?

  • New building regulations were put into place.

  • New houses were built in brick rather than wood to ensure that such a disaster would never happen again.

  • The new streets that were built were wide, instead of narrow.