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On Display: Museum of London: War, Plague and Fire: How did Londoners Fight the Fire?
Though there was no fire brigade at the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, each parish had its own fire-fighting equipment, usually stored in the local church. Local people were expected to use standard items, such as hooks, buckets, ladders and axes to fight fires in their parish. Hooks were used to help pull down buildings in advance of the fire, or to demolish already burning houses, to prevent the fire from spreading. It took a long time to pull down a house this way, and the fire, pushed on by the strong wind, often overtook the fire-fighters, forcing them to retreat. On the night of Tuesday 4 September they began to use gunpowder instead, with the help of the Navy, to knock down houses more quickly. This, aided by the dying wind, brought the fire slowly under control.
L 4300 mm (approx), W 380 mm (max), WT 34.5 kg
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