5 January, 1941: BB nearly burns

The closing days of 1940 were marked forever by the serious fires that broke out over the city of London as a result of the dropping of vast numbers of incendiary bombs. Early on Sunday evening, December 29, incendiary bombs were rained on the city. Lots of them, thanks to efficient roof-spotting, were extinguished very quickly; many were not, with consequences that will go down into history. A fire which burned fiercely, some 60 or 70 yards from our head offices, spread, despite unrelenting efforts on the part of the firemen, until a big area was involved. Those of us on Fleet Street will not forget the feeling of profound sadness shared by those newspaper men who watched helplessly. Despite the dislocation that resulted, the life of the city was resumed on Monday morning with a cheerful determination that should serve as an inspiration to every Britisher.