I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and throughbridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michelle's house,as far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the firerunning further, that in a very little time it got as far as theSteeleyard, while I was there. Everybody endeavouring to removetheir goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them intolighters that layoff; poor people staying in their houses aslong as till the very fire touched them, and then running intoboats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-sideto another. And among other things, the poor pigeons, Iperceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about thewindows and balconys till they were, some of them burned, theirwings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an hour's time seenthe fire: rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouringto quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to thefire, and having seen it get as far as the Steele-yard, and thewind mighty high and driving it into the City; and every thing,after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the verystones of churches, and among other things the poor steeple bywhich pretty Mrs.————lives, and whereof my old school-fellowElborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, an there burnedtill it fell down —
Diary of Samuel Pepys
, Sunday, 2 September 1666.