Fires and flames have been around for centuries. Early man didn't know anything about fire other than sometimes natural sources produced something that was very bright, sometimes hard to control and produced something that was later called heat. Early cave pictures show fire in man's art and there are many legends surrounding fire. Some thought it was stolen from the gods. Once early man understood a little about fire, he had to learn how to control and preserve it. Fire needed watching so it wouldn't go out or spread. The early people were like families today in that they gathered around the fire as a central part of their lives.