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The fire at Cottons Wharf on Tooley Street, on 22 June 1861, was seen as the worst in history since The Great Fire of London. Just 30 minutes passed from the discovery of smoke at a warehouse to the fire burning out of control, soon stretching from London Bridge to Customs House. Engines arrived from all over the country to help the LFEE, but it still took two weeks to put the fire out.

The fire led to a big social change. Its huge cost forced insurance companies to tell the Home Secretary that they could no longer be responsible for the fire safety of London. This piece of history led to the creation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1865.

The Fire Station in Tooley Street was built as part of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1879 to save lives and protect property. Today, we’re using the same values of business sense and social responsibility to make it a vibrant and authentic venue. It means a fresh start for this historic building and a new future for all the vulnerable people who train with us and go on to long-term employment.

Image: © London Fire Brigade.

Fire Station in 1800s