The wonderful early 13th Century painted wood ceiling over the nave was nearly destroyed by fire on the evening of 22nd November, 2001.
The fire was caused by an arsonist. The seat of the fire was in a stack of plastic chairs temporarily placed behind the organ. It is believed that a votive candle had been placed among them near closing time.
Very fortunately the fire was spotted by a verger, who was on his way home and saw smoke and raised the alarm. The fire brigade were just in time to save the ceiling.
A detailed report of the incident and resulting damage written by the cathedral architect can be read at: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/peterborough/peterborough.htm