List of British firefighters killed in the line of duty

This article is a list of British firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1900. As such, it only lists those firefighters[note 1] killed or who sustained injuries from which they subsequently died whilst on duty and not those who were off-duty at the time of the event at which they died.[1][note 2][2] It also does not list the 997 firefighters killed during the Second World War,[3][4] nor any deaths relating to The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Military firefighter personnel are only listed if they died during non-combatant fires or accidents. Some links to the original fire authority areas may link to the present day authority that covers the geographic area.

For example, the West Riding Fire Service became the West Yorkshire Fire Service in 1974,[5] and during this process parts of the former West Riding of Yorkshire area became part of East Yorkshire (Humberside Fire and Rescue Service), Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.[6] See History of fire brigades in the United Kingdom

During the period between 1941 and 1947, all fire brigades in Britain were amalgamated into the National Fire Service (NFS).[note 3] This totalled over 1,600 individual brigades. Some links that point to the NFS may actually link to the fire service that covers the present day geographical area. When the NFS was broken up, it was decided that local county authority control would be the natural way to divide the brigades. This left Essex with one brigade covering the ceremonial county and Southend, which was a county borough, with its own independent fire service.[7]

As more than one firefighter has died at certain incidents, some listings for dead firefighters may refer to the first alphabetical entry from that event. Certain brigades may have been subsumed into other services (Bradford Fire Brigade into West Yorkshire) or completely dissolved altogether, such as the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Fire Brigade.

The Firefighter's Prayer

National Firefighters Memorial, Cannon Street, London

When I am called to duty, God,
Wherever flames may rage,
Give me strength to save a life,
Whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late.
Or to save an older person
From the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
And hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling,
To give the best in me,
To guard my friend and neighbour,
And protect their property.
And if according to your will
I must answer Death's call,
Bless with Your protecting hand,
My family one and all.

- unknown



NameAgeBrigadeRoleDate of incidentCircumstances
James AllanGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960The Cheapside Street whisky bond fire. Allan, along with 13 other Glasgow Fire Service colleagues and five from the Glasgow Salvage Corps, were killed at the whisky bond warehouse owned by Arbuckle, Smith & Co. Over a 1,000,000 imperial gallons (4,500,000 l; 1,200,000 US gal) of alcohol was stored on the site and a combination of secure-proof building design and narrow streets hampered the efforts of the firefighters. As the alcohol was superheated, a massive explosion ruptured the walls outwards and covered the firefighters on two different streets with falling masonry; one turntable ladder and its crew were completely covered in rubble. 19 firefighters died in all, in what was described as Britain's worst firefighter disaster since the Second World War.[8]
Derek George William Andrews32City of Birmingham Fire BrigadeW25 August 1972Andrews was fighting a factory fire in Tenby street when the building collapsed onto him. He received fatal injuries.[9]
John ApplebyLondon Fire Brigade13 July 1969The Dudgeon's Wharf Explosion; the London Fire Brigade had been called out to a tank farm on the Isle of Dogs in East London when one of the tanks being demolished caught fire. Whilst five firemen were atop the structure trying to pour water in from the top to cool the tank, a worker on the site used a cutting torch to remove an inspection plate at the base of the tank. A spark from the torch ignited the air/gas mix and the tank exploded killing the five firemen and the civilian torch-cutter.[10]
John Averis27Warwickshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW2 November 2007The 2007 Warwickshire warehouse fire; A fire broke out at a vegetable packing warehouse near to Atherstone-on-Stour in Warwickshire in November 2007. Averis and two colleagues, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Bradley, were not recovered for four days afterwards due to the instability of the structure after it had collapsed. A fourth colleague, Ian Reid, was pulled from the burning building alive, but died later in hospital.[11]
Ian BagshawRoyal Air Force Fire and Rescue ServiceW14 March 1986Bagshaw, a Senior Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force, died when the emergency vehicle he was in crashed in Lincolnshire. He was serving at RAF Waddington at the time.[12]
Alan Bannon38Hampshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW6 April 2010Bannon and a colleague were responding to a fire in a tower block in Southampton. Firefighters had difficulties fighting the fire and the coroner's report stated that Bannon and Shears had died after being exposed to "sudden exposure to initially intense heat from 20.38 to 20.41 and thereafter to excessive heat while dealing with a fire in a flat on the 9th floor of the high-rise tower block Shirley Towers".[13][14]
David BarnesBerkshire Fire and Rescue Service15 September 1977Barnes was engaged in fighting a fire in Elgar Road, Reading, when the building collapsed onto him.[15]
George William Barrett43West Midlands Fire ServiceW2 December 1976Barrett was killed in a vehicle accident whilst en route to a fire inspection.[16]
Robert Bell29Kent Fire and Rescue ServiceW8 November 1974Bell and another firefighter, David Holley, were investigating smoke in a building full of latex mattresses on HMS Pembroke in Chatham Dockyard. It was believed that a flashover occurred and killed the men outright, but it was not known exactly what caused the flashover that resulted in their deaths. Investigations by the Fire Research Station later determined that a smouldering cigarette could cause latex to decompose at low temperatures and allow flammable fumes to accumulate. It was assumed that whilst searching for the seat of the fire, the two firemen turned over one of the smouldering mattresses which allowed an explosive mix of air and flammable vapour to mix and thereby cause an explosion.[17][18]
Iain Bermingham29Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972The Kilbirnie Street fire; Bermingham and five others had gone into a burning building to recover a missing fireman at a cash and carry warehouse on Kilbirnie Street in Glasgow. Fireman Rook was listed as missing and as the six-man team were trying to recover him, an extreme flashover event that caused the temperature to be instantly raised to over 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) occurred and all seven died.[19][20]
Joseph Edmund Binns29Bradford Fire BrigadeW21 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; Binns, along with five colleagues and a firefighter from a railway company, died as a result of a massive explosion at the Low Moor Munitions plant, Low Moor, Bradford, West Yorkshire in August 1916. The seven were killed during an attempt to control a fire which resulted in the explosion.[21]
Christopher BoyleGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Hylton Brearley37West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service9 December 1976Brearley was killed in Netherton when the appliance that he was in overturned on ice whilst en route to a callout.[22]
Terence BreenLondon Fire Brigade13 July 1969The Dudgeon's Wharf Explosion; see listing under John Appleby
Eli Buckley29Bradford Fire BrigadeW21 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; see Joseph Edmund Binns[21]
J BuistAngus Fire Brigade13 April 1962Buist, a Divisional Officer, was killed when a bale of jute fell on him whilst tackling a fire in Dundee.[23]
Robert Burrows25Salford Fire BrigadeW1 March 1951Burrows and his crew were on their way to a call in Weaste on the west side of Salford. The fire appliance they were on was a type where the firefighters rode along the outside of the vehicle and held on to a handrail. Whilst en route, the handrail snapped, Burrows and a colleague fell into the road where Burrows sustained head injuries and died.[24] Investigations later determined that water penetration had rotted the wood where the screws affixed it to the appliance.[25]
Edmund Burt23[note 4]Western Fire Brigade7 October 1968Firefighters from the Western Fire Brigade (later Strathclyde), had brought a fire at a papermill in Linwood under control when a wall collapsed and buried four people. Burt died from injuries sustained by falling masonry.[26][27]
J Calderwood58Lanarkshire Fire Brigade7 January 1963Calderwood and a colleague, McIntosh, were fighting a fire in a paint store at Colville's Steel Works in Bellshill, Mossend. An explosion ripped through the building killing McIntosh instantly; Calderwood died in hospital eight days later.[28]
Paul CarvossoLondon Fire Brigade13 July 1969The Dudgeon's Wharf Explosion; see listing under John Appleby
James CalderGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Gordon ChapmanGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
William Clark47Glasgow Fire Brigade15 November 1967Clark had been attempting to rescue four children from a house fire in Cumberland Place. All five died at the scene.[29]
Andrew Edmund Clinton53West Midlands Fire ServiceW17 March 2003Clinton was working at the top of a hydraulic platform at Bournbrook Fire Station when he fell sustaining fatal injuries.[30]
Francis Bull Cokayne52Gillingham Fire BrigadeW11 July 1929The Gillingham Fair fire disaster; every year at the Gillingham Fete, the Gillingham Fire Brigade had a mock three-story house built in which one fireman would play a bride and another the bridegroom. They would entertain a crowd inside the house and deliberately set a small fire from which everyone could escape, then initiate a larger fire so that the brigade could demonstrate their skills in putting the fire out. On this occasion the larger fire was started before the evacuation had taken place and three firemen and 12 boys from the local Sea Cadet troop died.[31]
Ian Robert Collier22West Midlands Fire ServiceW29 May 1977Collier was fighting a fire on a railway embankment in Solihull. He was struck by a railway locomotive and suffered fatal injuries. He had only been a firefighter for five months.[32]
James Conn49Glasgow Fire Brigade24 December 1927Conn and three other firefighters, died at a warehouse fire in Gallowgate, Glasgow. It was three days before colleagues could recover their bodies.[33][34]
Robert CrampinWorcester City & County Fire BrigadeW8 March 1974Both he & Keith Marshal succumbed to smoke inhalation after their breathing apparatus ran out of air whilst trapped in a fire at Hurcott Mill
William CrocketGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Alastair Crofts31Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See Iain Bermingham[19][20]
Archibald DarrochGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Daniel DavidsonGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
John Davies34Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue ServiceR6 September 1993During a fire at the Sun Valley poultry processing plant in Hereford, a ceiling collapsed and trapped Davies and his colleague Dave Morris. Both died at the scene.[35][36]
Brian Dean49West Midlands Fire ServiceW3 December 2008Dean and his crew (Bluewatch) from Bloxwich Fire Station were returning after dealing with an overturned car incident. Dean suffered a fatal heart attack.[37]
Reginald Deveson56Kent Fire BrigadeR11 May 1965Deveson was helping to put out a fire aboard a ship carrying jute and oil-cake stranded on Deal beach. He had already been at the scene for sometime when he said he was feeling unwell, by the time that a doctor had arrived on the Walmer lifeboat, Deveson had died.[38]
Alfred DickinsonGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Gordon Robert Dix52Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceW16 February 1966Dix and two colleagues died when they were overcome by smoke at a bunker on RAF Neatishead in Norfolk. The fire had been started deliberately and caused over one and half million pounds worth of damage. Because of the potential for confusion in smoke or complicated building layouts, a knotted guide line was introduced nationally after this fire to assist firefighters to identify the correct way to the exit.[39]
John Donley26County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue ServiceW5 September 1982Donley and his colleague, Tony Hall, were killed when their fire engine overturned en route to a chimney fire in South Hetton.[40]
Morrison Dunbar23Glasgow Fire Brigade24 December 1927See listing under James Conn
Herbert James Durrant52Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceW16 February 1966The RAF Neatishead fire, see listing under Gordon Robert Dix.
Albert Farrow44Kent Fire BrigadeR29 November 1957A fire had engulfed the tailor's shop at Oakwood Hospital in Maidstone. The fire was successfully extinguished, but without warning, an adjacent 115-foot (35 m) tower collapsed on those performing dampening down operations. Many people were trapped under the rubble and three firemen and three hospital staff were killed.[41][42]
Billy Faust36London Fire BrigadeW20 July 2004Faust and his colleague, Adam Meere, were in the basement of a burning building in Bethnal Green, London. An inquest into their deaths later stated that fire officers had not realised the strength of the flames and that a hose had been burnt through. It was also suggested that when colleagues opened doors to vent the building, a flashover occurred and burnt the men to death.[43][44]
Allan Finlay20Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See Iain Bermingham.[19][20]
Dennis Michael Flint32West Midlands Fire ServiceW22 September 1983Flint was attempting to fight a fire in a paper factory in Nechells, Birmingham, when a bale of paper fell on his head and he sustained fatal injuries.
Jack Fourt-Wells46London Fire BrigadeW23 January 1958Smithfield Poultry Market in the Smithfield district of London, burnt down in January 1958. Fourt-Wells and another firefighter, Richard Stocking, became lost in the basement labyrinth beneath the market and were not missed nor reported missing until it was too late.[note 5][45][46]
William Fraser28Aberdeen City Fire Brigade4 March 1909First Class Fireman William Fraser, met with a sudden death as the result of being struck with a heavy piece of water rhone. The material, weighing over one cwt, became dislodged from the roof, and swept the fireman from his position on the fire escape – on which he had been at work – to the ground, a distance of nearly 40 feet (12 m).[47]
Michael GambleLondon Fire Brigade13 July 1969The Dudgeon's Wharf Explosion; see listing under John Appleby
Joshua Gardner35Mid and West Wales Fire Service17 September 2019Died during a training exercise in Milford Haven after two boats collided[48]
Robin John Gleeson29West Midlands Fire ServiceW19 August 1982Gleeson sustained fatal head injuries whilst fighting a fire in a paper factory in Walsall.[49]
Neil GoldsmithBerkshire Fire and Rescue Service15 September 1977Goldsmith was engaged in fighting a fire in Elgar Street, Reading when the building collapsed onto his colleague (David Barnes). When Goldmsmith went in to try and rescue Barnes, the building suffered a total collapse and killed both men.[15]
Peter Goodwin27City of Manchester Fire BrigadeT8 June 1955Trainee firefighter Goodwin, was attempting to perform a ladder rescue drill known as the carry down at the London Road fire station in Manchester. He lost his balance and fell 20 feet (6.1 m)[50]
Alexander GrassieGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Ernest David 'Dave' Gregory46Dorset Fire and Rescue ServiceR16 October 1987Gregory and his colleague, Graham White were killed instantly when a tree fell on the front of the cab of their fire appliance, whilst driving between incidents on the night of the 1987 Great Storm[51][52]
Stephen Griffin42Gwent Fire ServiceR1 February 1996Griffin and his colleague, Kevin Lane, were killed in a flash-over at a house fire in Blaina, Wales. They had already rescued one 5-year-old boy (who subsequently died on the way to hospital) and had gone in again after information mistakenly led them to believe another child was trapped in the burning house.[53]


NameAgeBrigadeRoleDate of incidentCircumstances
Tony Hall24County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue ServiceW5 September 1982See listing under John Donley
Reginald Hartley47Salford Fire BrigadeW24 September 1950Firefighters had been called out to a pickle factory in Salford and had successfully extinguished the flames. In part of the salvage operations later, a faulty wire electrocuted Hartley and he died from his injuries.[54]
John Hawkes33Kent Fire BrigadeR29 November 1957See listing under Albert Farrow
Colin Hill39City of Sheffield Fire Brigade5 June 1950Hill was in the process of rescuing a cat from a tree in Sheffield when it moved higher up the branches. Hill left his 35-foot (11 m) ladder and stood on a branch further up to effect a rescue. The branch snapped and Hill plunged an estimated 40 feet (12 m) to the ground and suffered fatal injuries.[55]
Michael Hill32London Fire BrigadeW10 May 1993Hill was tackling a fire in a launderette in north west London when the roof of the building collapsed trapping Hill and two of his colleagues.[56]
David Holley34Kent Fire and Rescue ServiceW8 November 1974See listing under Robert Bell
John Stuart Holman23Norfolk Fire and Rescue ServiceW16 February 1966The RAF Neatishead fire, see listing under Gordon Robert Dix.
William Hooper44Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See listing under Iain Bermingham[19][20]
Graham Hughes53Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue ServiceW24 March 2004Hughes collapsed on the fire ground after helping to put out a small grass fire that arsonists had started. As fire engines did not carry defibrillators at the time the crew had to manually work his heart. He died days later after suffering from complications from brain damage.
John Humphries41Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW22 March 1989Humphries and his crew were tackling a fire on a lorry that was carrying an explosive load in Peterborough. The fire caused a huge explosion and 107 injuries, 80 of which needed hospitalising. Humphries was only 49 feet (15 m) away from the truck when it exploded. A large chunk of debris killed him outright.[57]
Stephen Hunt38Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue ServiceW13 July 2013Hunt and his colleagues were responding to a fire at a hair salon in Oldham which had been allegedly set alight by two teenage girls. Hunt took a wrong turn in the zero-visibility fire and was found collapsed and unconscious. He died in hospital.[58]
Terry Hunt33London Fire BrigadeW10 July 1991Hunt along with a colleague, died after they ran out of compressed air in their BA sets. Two BA guide lines or safety lines had been laid into the burning building in Gillender Street, Bow, East London, and the two firefighters became confused and took a wrong turn.[59]
David Jeffrey24Glasgow Fire Brigade24 December 1927See listing under James Conn
Daniel Jones30South Wales Fire and Rescue ServiceW3 August 2020Jones died from complications following an RTC in the fire engine he was travelling in [60]
Simon Kaye53Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW13 April 2020Was taken ill whilst on duty at Christchurch Fire Station, and died in hospital later that day
Kevin Lane32Gwent Fire ServiceR1 February 1996See Stephen Griffin.[53]
Vivian Lewis37Essex Fire BrigadeR5 November 1954Whilst fighting a fire in a cabinet making works in Harlow New Town, Lewis collapsed and died.[61]
Fleur Lombard21Avon Fire and Rescue ServiceW4 February 1996Lombard died after a flashover occurred at the supermarket blaze she was fighting with a colleague in Bristol. Lombard was the first female firefighter in the United Kingdom to die on active service in peacetime.[62]
Paul Mallaghan46Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW16 June 2007Mallaghan was part of a team of firefighters that had responded to a vehicle fire on the hard shoulder of the A1(M) near to Stevenage in Hertfordshire when he was struck by another vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was later sentenced to two years in prison for the offence, although it was observed that there was no criminality in the incident, moreover tiredness was the root cause.[63]
Leslie Marsh35City of Birmingham Fire BrigadeW12 February 1949Marsh died after suffering multiple injuries when he fell through the first floor of a disused burning church.[64]
Keith MarshallWorcester City & County Fire BrigadeW8 March 1974See Robert Crampin
Neil McCullochKent Fire and Rescue ServiceW9 January 1973McCulloch had been fighting a fire with his colleagues in a science block at Upbury Manor School in Gillingham when a flashover caused a burning fluorescent light fitting to fall on him and one other colleague. Despite severe burns, he was able to crawl to the edge of the classroom where his colleagues dragged him to safety, however, McCulloch's injuries were too severe and he died at the scene.[65]
Archibald McLay35Glasgow Fire BrigadeW3 November 1969A blaze had broken out in the Scottish Television Studios in the Theatre Royal, Hope Street, Glasgow. At its height, 130 firefighters were fighting the fire which had started due to an electrical fault. McLay slipped and drowned in the sub-basement, which was under 6 feet (1.8 m) of water.[66]
James McLellanGlasgow Salvage CorpsW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Joe McCloskey50Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue ServiceW1 November 2003McCloskey was killed when the roof of the burning building he was on, collapsed and dropped him onto the flames below. He suffered 95% first-degree burns on his body.[67]
S McIntosh48Lanarkshire Fire Brigade7 January 1963See listing under J Calderwood
George McIntyreGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Harry McKellar31Glasgow Fire Brigade24 December 1927See listing under James Conn
Duncan McMillan25Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See Ian Bermingham[19][20]
Edward McMillanGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Gordon McMillanGlasgow Salvage CorpsW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Ian McMillanGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Ian James McPhee22West Midlands Fire ServiceW28 July 1992McPhee died whilst fighting a fire in a block of flats in the Lee Bank area of Birmingham. he suffered burns and internal injuries.[68]
John McPhersonGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Douglas Mearns45Glasgow Fire ServiceW2 December 1960Mearns was in charge of the Glasgow Fireboat and had been called out with other crews to attend a ship fire on the MV Pagensand which was berthed at Prince's Dock in Glasgow. The ship's hold had been alight since it had left Gothenburg carrying matches, paper and other flammable material. The captain ordered that the hold be sealed and when the fire services attended they descended into the hold. Almost immediately there were cries for help and in all, 11 firefighters and one dockworker were overcome by fumes. Mearns could not be revived and died at the scene.[69][70]
Adam Meere27London Fire BrigadeF20 July 2004See listing under Billy Faust.[43]
Paul Metcalf40Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue ServiceR5 September 1999Metcalf had responded with his crew from Ramsbottom fire station to reports of a boy who had disappeared beneath the water in Holcombe Brook, Bury, Greater Manchester. Whilst attempting to search for the boy, Metcalf's rope became entangled on branches in the water and both he and the boy died at the scene.[71]
Michael Miller26Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW2 February 2005Miller and his colleague, Jeff Wornham, had already rescued one person from the flat when they went back for another occupant. The fire escalated and all three of them died due to the excessive heat.[72]
Robert Miller44Leicestershire Fire and Rescue ServiceW31 October 2002Miller died when he fell through the floor of a burning factory in Leicester.[73]
Andrew Moore50West Midlands Fire ServiceW16 February 2020Moore committed suicide in the station and his body was found during the night shift with Red Watch at Wolverhampton Fire Station.[74]
Dave Morris35Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue ServiceW6 September 1993See listing under John Davies
James MungallGlasgow Salvage CorpsW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Edward MurrayGlasgow Salvage CorpsW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Jeff Naylor31West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW27 April 1983A house fire in Ingrow, West Yorkshire, was attended by the crew from Keighley Fire Station. Naylor was attempting to rescue three children from the blaze when he was injured. He died in hospital ten weeks later.[75]
Wilfrid NelsonLancashire County Fire Brigade5 March 1955Nelson was engaged in dampening down operations at Wellington Mill in Greenfield after an extensive fire. Nelson was trying to extinguish pockets of fire on the third floor when it collapsed and he fell 40 feet (12 m) to his death.[76]
Albert Joseph Nicholls56Gillingham Fire BrigadeW11 July 1929The Gillingham Fair fire disaster; see listing under Francis Bull Cokayne
John Noble46Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service23 January 2008Road Traffic Collision en route to alarm call at Strathdevon Primary School, Dollar.[77]
Fred NormingtonBradford Fire BrigadeW1 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; see Joseph Edmund Binns
William OliverGlasgow Salvage CorpsW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]


NameAgeBrigadeRoleDate of incidentCircumstances
Leslie Pearce49Kent Fire BrigadeW29 November 1957See listing under Albert Farrow
Raymond Morris Pearson40ICI Works Fire Brigade26 July 1963A fire had developed in an electric furnace at ICI Hillhouse, near Fleetwood in Lancashire. The furnace was used to heat anthracite to make carbide electro paste. Whilst local brigades (Blackpool and Lancashire) also attended, the fire was fought by the on site ICI Works Fire Brigade. A rush of flames injured seven firefighters with Pearson dying a day later in hospital.[78]
Hamish Petitt25London Fire BrigadeW13 December 1974The Worsley Hotel fire
James H PillingLeeds City BrigadeW24 May 1954Pilling, who was the chief fire officer of the Leeds City Brigade, fell through two floors of the General Electrics mill in Wellington Street, Leeds. Pilling suffered a haemorrhage and subsequently died of his injuries a year later.[79][80]
Knighton Pridmore48Bradford Fire BrigadeW21 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; see Joseph Edmund Binns[21]
Andrew Quinn47Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See Iain Bermingham[19][20]
William RaeGlasgow Fire Brigade24 November 1904Rae was engaged in fighting a fire at the North British Railway's oil and gas works in Hunter Street, Glasgow. He was killed by an explosion.[81]
Ian Reid44Warwickshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW2 November 2007See John Averis[11]
James Rook29Glasgow Fire ServiceW25 August 1972See Iain Bermingham[19][20]
Edgar Shaw24Bradford Fire BrigadeW21 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; see Joseph Edmund Binns[21]
John Sharp31Kent Fire and Rescue ServiceW27 March 1977Sharp was buried with two other colleagues when a building on fire in Dover collapsed onto them. Whilst the other two were freed in under twenty minutes, Sharp died of his injuries.[82]
Fred Sharpe30Dewsbury Police Fire Brigade22 November 1918Sharpe sustained spinal injuries whilst fighting a fire in a woollen mill in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Though he survived the fire Sharpe died four months later from his injuries.[83]
James Shears35Hampshire Fire and Rescue ServiceW6 April 2010See listing under Alan Bannon
Alfred SeeLondon Fire Brigade13 July 1969The Dudgeon's Wharf Explosion; see listing under John Appleby
Ashley Stephens20Warwickshire Fire and Rescue ServiceR2 November 2007See John Averis[11]
Neville Stocker55Kent Fire and Rescue ServiceW5 August 1990Ff.Stocker was engaged in fighting a field fire at Tiffenden Manor Farm High Halden in Kent when he died. The crew had gone into the field to spray water on the fire, when it suddenly took hold and was in the process of cutting them off. Stocker and the others ran for the safety of the fire engine, which was reversing out of the field; two of the fireman were able to clamber aboard, but Stocker fell and was run over by the fire engine. A coroner's report concluded that he had been overcome by smoke which led to him falling under the fire engine, rather than crush injuries being the direct cause of death.[84][85][86]
Richard Stocking31London Fire BrigadeW23 January 1958See listing under Jack Fourt-Wells[45]
David Stokoe25London Fire BrigadeW10 July 1991See listing under Terry Hunt
Charles Sugden44Bradford Fire BrigadeW21 August 1916The Low Moor Explosion; see Joseph Edmund Binns[21]
Arthur John Tabrett40Gillingham Fire BrigadeW11 July 1929The Gillingham Fair fire disaster; see listing under Francis Bull Cokayne
Colin Townsley45London Fire BrigadeW18 November 1987The King's Cross fire; Townsley and his crew had arrived on the scene at 19:42 and the fire didn't initially seem to be too serious however, a flashover event occurred three minutes later that killed Townsley. A total of 30 other people died as a result of the fire.[87][88]
Henry Richard TunksLancashire & Yorkshire Railway Fire Brigade[note 6]W21 August 1916Killed in the Low Moor Explosion - see entry under Joseph Edmund Binns
Nicholas Mark Walker25West Midlands Fire ServiceW29 June 1985Walker was en route to a rubbish fire at a hospital in West Heath, Birmingham. The fire engine he was travelling in was involved in a road collision, and he sustained serious head injuries. Walker died four days later from his injuries.[89]
Thomas Watson27Halifax County Borough Fire Brigade27 June 1949Watson was driving a fire appliance to a grass fire on the outskirts of Halifax when it skidded down a hill and collided with a bus. Both the driver of the bus and Watson were killed with other firefighters needing hospital treatment.[90]
William WatsonGlasgow Fire ServiceW28 March 1960See listing under James Allan.[8]
Brian Wembridge63East Sussex Fire and Rescue ServiceO[note 7]3 December 2006A fire had broken out at a fireworks factory in Shortgate, East Sussex, 3 December 2006. Wembridge, along with Geoff Wicker, was killed when a massive explosion sent debris and fireworks across the site. Twenty other emergency workers were injured during the blast.[91]
Graham White46Dorset Fire and Rescue ServiceR16 October 1987See listing under Ernest Gregory
John Whiteside27Lancashire Fire Brigade26 July 1963A fire had developed in an electric furnace at ICI Hillhouse, near Fleetwood in Lancashire. The furnace was used to heat anthracite to make carbide electro paste. Whilst local brigades (Blackpool and Lancashire) also attended, the fire was fought by the on site ICI Works Fire Brigade. A rush of flames injured seven firefighters with Whiteside dying in hospital on 15 August 1963.[78][92]
Geoff Wicker49East Sussex Fire and Rescue ServiceR3 December 2006See listing under Brian Wembridge.[91]
William Edward Wilson44Lancashire County Fire BrigadeR9 January 1956Wilson died after falling 20 feet (6.1 m) from a ladder during a practice drill at Nelson fire station in Lancashire.[93]
George Woods48Grimsby County Borough Fire Brigade7 April 1955Woods and his crew had been called out to a trawler moored in Grimsby harbour with reports of people being overcome by fumes. Woods and two trawler men died as a result of the fumes and other firefighters were incapacitated even though they were wearing BA sets.[94]
Jeff Wornham28Hertfordshire Fire ServiceW2 February 2005See listing under Michael Miller[72]
Darren Yates-Bradley24Warwickshire Fire and Rescue ServiceR2 November 2007See John Averis[11]

Key: W = Wholetime firefighter, R = Retained firefighter, O = Other firefighter staff, T = Trainee


  1. The term firefighter is used as it is not gender-specific. Most deaths will have originally been reported as the gender-specific fireman or firewoman.
  2. Alex Kent, 25, of Sussex Fire Brigade, died in January 2003 rescuing his brother from a fire in their parents house. Both men died, but the parents survived. Kent was off-duty at the time. Similarly, Divisional Officer James Treacher, 49, was injured by falling masonry in the Clifton Hall Tunnel collapse. He died seven months later whilst still on sick leave, but his death was due to cancer.
  3. The Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade was the only fire service to retain its independence during the NFS years. It is still independent in modern times, though it answers to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
  4. Age is disputed; either 22 or 23.
  5. The two officers were wearing Proto Breathing Apparatus (BA) sets. Their deaths prompted the LFB to initiate a review into BA sets and they style and use was updated. Additionally, a BA tracking board was introduced which meant that someone set back from the fire, knew the location of firefighters wearing BA sets when entering any burning building.
  6. Tunks worked for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway as what was a called a fireman but he was a firefighter and his role should not be confused with the traditional role of fireman on the railway
  7. Wembridge was the brigade's photographer and videographer


  1. Sapsted, David (9 January 2003). "Off-duty fireman dies trying to save brother in house blaze". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  2. "Injured fire chief carried on - died". Manchester Evening News. 11 November 1953. p. 5. ISSN 0962-2276.
  3. Gray, Richard (4 November 2007). "The toll of duty". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
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