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This paper experimentally and theoretically shows why experiment on small pool fires yield different burning rates. Small pool fire tests were carried out to examine the effect of fuel temperature and tank temperature on the burning rate during unsteady combustion. In these experiments, the fuel level in the tank was not controlled. It was found that: 1.) There are three processes associated with the fuel temperature change; 2.) the three processes are called preheating, transition and boiling; 3.) the burning rates of heptane and kerosene depend on the fuel temperature and they increase their burning rates about 60% and 30% respectively as the three processes are traversed; 4.) methanol did not change its burning rate. Finally, the reason for various burning rate changes of small pool fires are clearly explained by the calculation of fuel evaporation using measured burning rates and fuel temperatures.