The Pudding Lane baker, Thomas Farriner, his daughter Hanna and their servants found out about the Great Fire when smoke rose in their house during the night. It woke them around 1am on Sunday 2 September 1666.
Samuel Pepys and his wife Elizabeth were woken by their maid Jane at 3am, who told them about ‘a great fire’ that she and the other maids had seen. Four hours later, when Pepys got up, Jane said that she’d heard 300 houses had burned down. Pepys went to the Tower of London to see for himself from one of the ‘high places’ and saw ‘an infinite great fire on this and the other side… of the bridge’.
Many people were alerted by hearing warning shouts outside their homes. In Thomas Vincent’s 1667 account of the fire, God’s Terrible Voice in the City, he says: