London Fire Brigade

How did the Great Fire start?

How did the Great Fire start

Painting of people escaping burning buildings

The Great Fire spread so quickly that people had to escape taking as many belongings with them as possible. Samuel Pepys buried his expensive cheese and wine to stop it perishing in the fire. Painting by Stanley Topas.

The Great Fire of London started on 2 September 1666. It started in the baker, Thomas Faynor’s shop. Although he claimed he had put the fire out, three hours later, at 1am, his house was an inferno. 

Faynor’s bakery was situated in Pudding Lane. The fire spread quickly down Pudding Lane, and carried on down Fish Hill and towards the Thames. When it reached the Thames it hit the warehouses and London Bridge.

The fire continued to spread rapidly, helped by a strong wind from the East.

What happened in the Great Fire

Did you know

The site where the fire started is now marked by a 202 foot monument designed by Sir Christopher Wren.


Did you know

Londoners were not alarmed at first, because fires were such a common occurrence.