Great Fire of New York (1776)
The Great Fire of New York was a large fire in New York City. It burned through the night of September 21, 1776 on the west side of the former boundaries of New York City at the southern end of the island of Manhattan. It started when the British Army took control of the city during the American Revolutionary War. Many think that Washington's men, who had recently lost the Battle of Long Island, started the fire to hamper British shipping of materials. Others believe that the British Army started the fire in an attempt to burn Whitehall.
The fire destroyed 10 to 25% of the city. Some of the unburned parts of the city were ransacked. The lack of housing made difficulties for war refugees who went to the city to escape the Rebels elsewhere.