The Fire is the most crucial point in the Alice series storyline, and its initiating event. The fire is supposed to have occurred shortly after Through the Looking-Glass. It occurred on November 5th, 1863.
American McGee's Alice Edit
While Alice Liddell dreamed of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Dinah is seen supposedly being frightened by the lightning outside and knocks over a pile of books which then knocked over an oil lamp in the house library. The Mad Hatter awoke Alice within her sleep which ultimately led to her survival. But in what is depicted as a desperate effort to save her family, Alice witnesses the horrible deaths of her parents. She survived by leaping out of the window.
The aftermath of the events is skipped to 10 years later when Alice is catatonic and showing no signs of recovery from the past, being "treated" at Rutledge Asylum.
Alice: Madness Returns Edit
The Fire is shown to have occurred in a different and more sinister way than what was remembered from American McGee's Alice. In Alice: Madness Returns, Alice recovers her lost memories in Wonderland, where she soon remembers the truth.
Her father had a passion for photography, meaning the library was an accident waiting to happen with the amounts of paper and chemicals he kept. Dinah had never been anywhere near the fire, but had in fact saved Alice's life by showing her that jumping out of the window was her only means of escape.
It is soon revealed that her sister, Lizzie Liddell, had been stalked by one of their father's undergraduates Dr. Angus Bumby, who became a child molester in his later years. He raped and murdered Elizabeth before locking her bedroom door and burning the house to the ground to cover up his crime, taking her bedroom key with him. Alice briefly saw Bumby when he was exiting Lizzie's room, but oddly mistook him for a centaur. After the fire, a police investigation concluded that it was Dinah's clumsiness that started the fire.