Fire In London

I listened to the podcast on the Great Fire of London. I found the podcast to be informative, and what I found most interesting about the podcast was how efficiently the people of London were able to rebuild after the fire. The fire occurred in September of 1666 and lasted four days and nights. London had a rough summer leading up to the fire, they had faced a plague and England was at war with Holland. Also they had experienced a very hot summer which resulted in there being a lot of dry wood in the city. At this point there was between 400,000 and 450,000 people in London, and many of them were living in wooden homes.

When the fire initially started there was not a lot of concern, because fires were not an uncommon occurrence in cities. However as this fire grew it became apparent it was unlike any fire London had seen before. This resulted in people beginning to panic and try and save their material goods. During the fire not many people died, most of the  damages was done to material goods. In an attempt to save their assets people were moving possessions away from the fire, many people buried their valuables.  ( Also pertaining to this subject in high school I took a class, and I heard that a lot of people threw their possessions into a river that flowed through London.)  One of the main tactics used to slow down the fire was to pull down houses to prevent the fire from leaping.  Something said in the podcast was that the fire was allowed to grow somewhat because the mayor did not have the authority to pull down buildings, so even though he knew what needed to be done he could not do it.  Due to the fire around 90,000 homes were lost.

Once the fire stopped the people of London briefly looked for a scapegoat in foreign people in London. There was a number of French and Dutch people beaten. One French simpleton was even hung.

The rebuilding of London began very rapidly after the fire. A few days after the fire, surveyors were out trying to determine where every thing was previously positioned. Over the next 25-30 years London would rebuild.

One thought I had after listening to the podcast was how the Great London Fire and rebuilding of London compares to other natural disasters in history, such as the Chicago Fire or Hurricane Katrina?

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