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Five of the Most Devastating Fires in British History

While safety precautions have become a lot more stringent over the past few decades, Great Britain has witnessed some catastrophic fires throughout the course of history.

From the Great Fire of London to the Grenfell tragedy, read on to learn more about some of these devastating fires.

The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London is perhaps the most famous fire in British history. The 1666 blaze started in Pudding Lane near London Bridge and went on to destroy 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, the Royal Exchange, Guildhall and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Amazingly, just six people were officially recorded to have lost their lives, but the Great Fire rendered almost 85% of London’s population homeless.

Theatre Royal Fire

On 5 September 1887, a naked gas flame ignited some drapes within the Theatre Royal in Exeter, causing a widespread fire that claimed the lives of 186 victims. Many of those who died were located in the upper gallery and could not escape because of poorly designed exits - many people were sadly suffocated in the crush.

Summerland Fire

This tragic disaster occurred when a fire spread through the Summerland leisure centre in Douglas on the Isle of Man on the night of 2 August 1973. 50 people were killed and eighty seriously injured - the cause of the fire stemmed from three boys who were smoking in a small disused kiosk and carelessly discarded a match or stub.

Bradford City Stadium Fire

The Bradford City FC stadium fire was the second worst sporting tragedy in England, leaving 56 dead and at least 265 injured. Shortly before half time of a match between Bradford and Lincoln City on Saturday 11 May 1985, a fire was spotted three rows from the back of block G. In less than four minutes, it had engulfed the whole stand, trapping some people in their seats. In the panic that ensued, fleeing crowds had to break down locked exits to escape, and many were burnt to death at the turnstiles, which were also locked.

Grenfell Fire 

The most infamous fire in recent years, the Grenfell Tower fire broke out on 14 June 2017 at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of public housing flats. At least 72 people were sadly killed. The rapid growth of the fire is thought to have been accelerated by the building’s exterior cladding, which at the time was of a common type in widespread use.

If you’re looking for reliable fire safety solutions for your business, look no further than the reliable services at EK Fire Protection. Whether you’re after smoke alarm installation or fire extinguisher rental, our experienced fire safety business is on hand to meet your every need. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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