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Today in History: Great fire of London destroys over 13,000 homes by gooddream

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· @gooddream ·
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Today in History: Great fire of London destroys over 13,000 homes
This fire was meant to have started innocently enough at a baker's shop on Pudding Lane (i promise I am not making that up) but the inability to control the fire from spreading found it quickly well out of control and the end result was much of central London being left in ashes.  

The year was 1666 (one-satan) 
<center> ![Great-Fire-of-London.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmf65RkFvi9VTaw5wekC3chUdSgkRse5L2k2Ac7KoSRYsQ/Great-Fire-of-London.jpg)
[source](https://www.gethistory.co.uk/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2017-03/Great-Fire-of-London.jpg?itok=a7_Zvgpt)</center> 

Nearly 450 acres of housing, businesses, and 87 churches were set ablaze in an inferno that went on for three full days.  Although fires were relatively common in the 17th century, this one got out of control because their usual methods of creating firebreaks (simply demolishing the buildings in the path of the moving inferno) didn't work because it was particularly windy for several days.

The exact location of the origin of the fire was actually lost for 200 years because the monument that had previously been there was attracting too many "looky-loos" and it was creating problems for what as that time, a very narrow street.  The location of the baker's house on Pudding Lane(I can't take that naming convention seriously, but again, it was and still is a real name of a street) was rediscovered by Dorian Gerhold by accident when he was researching something else.  

<center> ![The_Monument_to_the_Great_Fire_of_London.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmZLMUy3zDb3RXkcrWWX4PCVZkJwAkFX8LW9hfC6xRXLCn/The_Monument_to_the_Great_Fire_of_London.jpg)
[source](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/The_Monument_to_the_Great_Fire_of_London.JPG) </center>

An impressive monument on Monument Street (it's starting to sound like I am making this up but I assure you this is the real names of the streets) is 202 feet tall, as it stands 202 feet from where the famed baker's oven started the fire.  For superstitious reasons, nothing is to be built on that location, ever.  

Methods to control the fire failed and since most of the buildings in London were made of timber at the time, it was looking like all of London would burn.  

<center> https://www.visionsupportservices.com/app/uploads/2017/04/great-fire-of-london.jpg?x67629
[source](https://www.visionsupportservices.com/app/uploads/2017/04/great-fire-of-london.jpg?x67629)</center>

Traditional methods of simply pulling a burning building to the ground with a giant hook in order to smother the flames had worked in the past, but for one reason or another this one got too large to control by such methods.  There actually were pumps that existed at the time, but they were huge and most of them foolishly didn't have wheels.  Also, hoses didn't exactly exist at the time so basically these things were giant buckets that once filled with water, were too damn heavy to move anyway.  

<center> http://www.historynotes.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/great-fire-5.jpg
[source](http://www.historynotes.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/great-fire-5.jpg)</center> 

The streets were also even more narrow than they are now and it became very difficult for firefighting efforts to engage the actual blaze with any equipment due to the number of abandoned carts, various belongings, and various tent sites that people had set up.   

Of course, there was a group of nefarious creatures who don't want to let a disaster get in the way of a massive profit.  Owners of boats and carts began charging extortionate rates for transport of good for wealthy inhabitants who had no other choice.  Recent estimates have stated that a normal boat or cart rental would have costs a few shillings (a fraction of a Pound), but these scumbags upped the price to around 40 Pounds which is around 5000 dollars in today's money.  

<center> http://blog.lubans.org/media/2/20170113-rsz_1rsz_the-rooster-and-the-thieves-fable-by-aesop-circa-600bc-thieves-stole-ey4eck.jpg
[source](http://blog.lubans.org/media/2/20170113-rsz_1rsz_the-rooster-and-the-thieves-fable-by-aesop-circa-600bc-thieves-stole-ey4eck.jpg)</center> 
Others hired themselves out as porters and simply made off with whatever they were meant to be delivering.  

Eventually an effective firebreak was established when by order of King Charles II,controlled demolition was undertaken on a relatively massive scale using stores of military gunpowder.  

When the blaze was finally stopped, the area in Central London that was inside the Roman City Walls was nearly completely destroyed.  It is estimated that 70,000 of the 80,000 residents now found themselves homeless.

If there is one shred of light that can be cast on this dark cloud it is that there was very little in the way of loss of life.  It was reported that only 6-8 people died in the blaze.   However, this stat is a bit suspicious because the rich were assholes back then and it is believed that "peasants didn't count"  in the official death toll.
๐Ÿ‘  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 90 others
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vote details (154)
@tts ·
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@fulltimeblogger ·
That first photo of old London on fire is terrifying!
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@bozz ·
Indeed, I would have guessed that the loss of life would have been much greater and perhaps it was.   I like your comment about the rich feeling the peasants didn't count.  It reminds me of a book I read one time.  It was part of the MYST series (yes, based off the video games).  There was a part where these people were visiting a new land and they came upon a local.  The question the local asked them was "can I see you".  The implication was that even though the people were standing right in front of him, if they were the help or workers, they were invisible to him.
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@ahmadmanga ·
Is that coming someone from someone with Power? rich? Or just a normal Local?

> the local asked them was "can I see you".
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@bozz ·
The question was posed to the newcomers by a member of the nobility.
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@tezmel ·
I swear I had a knowing grinning face the entire time I read this... I know that's sarcastic but hear me out. 

The burning London in 1666 sounds like a common modern slum on fire. 87 churches had me thinking of how religion is conquering Africa and my own neighbourhood has over 100 hundred churches clamped in the same area. It's sad and it makes me angry but we've not changed much according to that last sentence, have we? 

Such a good read.
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@gooddream ·
it was kind of like a slum area as far as i could tell.  It seems a bit suspect that extreme measures were taken on the part of the monarchy once the wealthy part of town nearby was threatened.
๐Ÿ‘  
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vote details (1)
@tezmel ·
Nothing is as interesting as human nature. We relive our history on a daily... Won't you agree? Doesn't what you've just typed sound like an episode in today's life paraphrased? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
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@ahmadmanga ·
I was going to say "at least not many people died" then I read:

> "peasants didn't count"

Ouch!
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@youtatomokuni ·
ๅคใ„ใƒญใƒณใƒ‰ใƒณใฎ็ซ็ฝใฎๆœ€ๅˆใฎๅ†™็œŸใฏๆใ‚ใ—ใ„ใงใ™๏ผ
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@gooddream ·
yeah, it is pretty gruesome... but it is a painting of course
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