Generally fires broke out in Cibali. The reason was that there were docks where combustible goods were put onto and taken off ships in Cibali. The direction of winds determined the districts to which fires spread. Flames ran easily through the beautiful districts of Istanbul at full speed and they caused the houses to burn to the ground. On 12th March 1579, with Murad the Third’s order called a Firman, everybody had to have a ladder reaching the roofs of their houses and a big barrel full of water at home. In case of fire, every member of a family ought to extinguish the fire in collaboration until other citizens and janissaries came to help.

Firman - Istanbul Fire Department