Originally published 08/07/2013
THE impact of the Great Fire of Edinburgh in 1824 helped to change the face of firefighting forever. It heralded a new era as Scotland’s capital led the way by launching the world’s very first municipal fire service.Edinburgh has been no stranger to devastating blazes throughout its history. The overcrowded and tightly-packed tenements of the Old Town were at constant risk. There is, however, one year in the city’s history which is more intensely associated with such incidents than any other. The unprecedented number of large fires which took place during 1824 threatened to destroy Scotland’s capital and led many citizens to believe that God was out to punish them. The most terrible of these fires ignited on the evening of November 15....