Denmark Place fire
arson incident which killed 37 people in London in 1980
The Denmark Place fire occurred on 16 August 1980 in Denmark Place, Central London, United Kingdom. Petty criminal John Thompson (1938-2008) was a customer at a nightclub. He argued with a bartender because he believed he had been overcharged for a drink there. Thompson was ejected. He returned later that night with petrol and paper, which he used to deliberately set fire to the building, killing 37 people. In May 1981, Thompson was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was kept in prison until he died.