On Oct. 16, 1834, fire ripped through the Palace of Westminster, home of British Parliament.
The first hint of disaster was a burning odor reported at 4 p.m. Flames were visible by 6 p.m. and flashed over 30 minutes later, according to Wikipedia.
Two parish pumps were the first on the scene at about 6:45 p.m.
At 7 p.m., Superintendent James Braidwood of the London Fire Engine Establishment responded with 12 engines and 64 firefighters.
Eyewitness William Baddeley described the scene in Mechanics Magazine, Feb. 14, 1835 edition:
I was called to the scene of action about seven oâ€™clock, from observing a deepcrimson hue in the sky, which pretty well indicated both the situation and magnitudeof the conflagration, although there was a strong twilight at the time, and themoon was shining withgreat brilliancy.
On arrivingin Old Palace-yard, about half-past seven, I found theHouse of Lords, and suite of rooms facing the Yard,enveloped in one vivid massof flame; theHouse of Commons soon after ignited; and thefire, fanned by a strong...
On Aug. 24, 1940, the Luftwaffe bombed the Thames Haven Oil Wharfon the Thames Estuary at Thurrock, Essex. The blaze was one of the first tests for the wartime Auxiliary Fire Service. Firefighters waded through pools of crude to apply foam.
``The Match Factory fire began in the late afternoon on August 30th, 1954. It showed as a column of black smoke gushing from the north corner of the roof,took hold and continued late into the night gutting the building. On a lighter note it is said that the insurance company when viewing the claims is reported to have said that the girls who worked there must have been the best dressed in the country. ''
On Oct. 28, 2016, fire destroyed the timber-framed Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter - said to be Englandâ€™s oldest hotel.
Flames started in an art gallery and spread to the hotel, The Guardian reported.
At the height of the blaze, the Devon and Somerset fire service said: â€œBecause of the complex structure of the old buildings here we havenâ€™t been able to put firefighters on the inside, so weâ€™re fighting it from the outside.
â€œWeâ€™ve got the aerial ladder platforms so we are pouring water on top of it. We are trying to contain it but there are signs now of damage to the bedroom floors of the hotel.â€
The hotel - which escaped damage during World War II - was built in 1769 as the Assembly Rooms and in 1827 renamed the Royal Clarence after a visit by Adelaide, Duchess of Clarence, The Guardian said.
"Thought this may be of interest. It was awarded as you can see to Sonning Fire Brigade in 1926. My connection is this would of been given to my great grandfather as he was station officer Edwards. Iâ€™m not sure why it was given.â€™â€™ - Gordon Houchen