Thousands of years ago, mankind discovered the benefits of fire. Fire used for cooking food increased digestibility, and fires also provided warmth. Millennia later, fires provided the heat necessary for steam engines, fueling the industrial revolution.
A candle that was knocked over caused a fire that consumed a wooden boarding house where dozens of poverty-stricken boys lived. In the terror of the blaze, about 50 residents rushed for the door and neighbors tried to extinguish it by throwing buckets of water on it. There were 41 survivors; eight of the nine who died were children. Official reports from Senegal, where the fire occurred, indicate that the structure had not been inspected.