Other cities have burned, but not as frequently or disastrously as London. To understand the impact and impetus fires have had on history, London is a good example. Its early growth as a trading centre led to warehouses packed with combustible merchandise. If trade followed the flag, then fire followed trade. Before the Great Fire, many of the buildings were little better than those of shantytowns. Following it, enlightened 17th-century speculators set up the first insurance offices - their firemen serving London until the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1866. The battle against flames restructured local government. This is a story of reformers and eccentrics, rogues and heroes, concluding with the bravery and sacrifice of today's firefighters.
Publisher: Comerford & Miller