"The French attributed the Fire of Moscow au patriotisme"

 At this time, Moscow was largely made up of traditional Russian wooden architecture; the fire of 1812 destroyed three quarters of the city. Rastopchin, the governor of Moscow, ordered that certain buildings should be blown up or set on fire, but this is not thought to have been the cause of the widespread blaze that was so destructive. He also declared that anything that could be of use to the French - food stores, arsenals, cloth stores - should burn, but it is not certain whether this order was carried out deliberately. The French soldiers themselves started a number of bonfires upon their arrival in Moscow, which contributed to the blaze, and there may have been a certain amount of deliberate sabotage on the part of Russians left behind. It seems most probable that a combination of deliberate and accidental incendiary acts are to blame for the enormous scale of the fire.