Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include Edward VII, who maintained a kit at a London fire station.

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

March 31, 2008


Photo: Telegraph TV, BBC
On March 30, 2008, the London Fire Brigade responded to the crash of a business jet that killed five people - including former racing driver David Leslie - at Farnborough, Kent. The Cessna jet was on a flight to France from nearby Biggin Hill airfield, according to the BBC.
Twin jet engine aircraft crashed into two detached houses of two floors, 6 metres by 6 metres. Whole of aircraft destroyed by impact and fire.
No. 5 Romsey Close 100 percent damaged by fire, No. 4 Romsey Close 20 percent of first floor and whole of adjoining garage damaged by fire.
One foam branch from airport fire tender, two jets, two hosereels, breathing apparatus, and detection identification and monitoring equipment, thermal image camera.
One x 15kg propane cylinder involved, cooled, confirmed safe.
Five occupants of aircraft all confirmed dead on scene by HEMS doctor, all persons accounted for, same as all calls, tactical mode delta, all appliances detained.

March 25, 2008


Photos of long-duration BA set used by London Fire Brigade for HAZMAT incidents and other extended operations. The double-cylinder set can provide for more than 45 minutes of air.

March 13, 2008


``THESE youngsters really got to grips learning about fire-fighting, in a scheme originally dreamed up to reduce anti-social behaviour in London's East End. The Local Intervention Fire Education project, known as Life, was started at Shadwell fire station." - East London Advertiser, March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008


The fire brigade's logo is getting a facelift, according to the magazine Design Week.

In its March 8 edition, the trade publication reports:

``London Fire Brigade is launching a new identity by Hertfordshire design group The Creative Consultancy, which will be applied across the capital in coming months.

``The aim of the identity, says the consultancy's creative director Teresa Sullivan, is to make the brand more consistent.

``According to a London Fire Brigade spokeswoman, the plan is to phase in the identity across all signage in London's 112 fire stations, as well as on fire engines, firefighters' uniforms and the website, as funds become available.''

March 11, 2008


PHOTO: Family archives

Firefighting is often a family affair with one generation following another into the service.

This is a portrait of Superintendent John Blyth of the London Salvage Corps, flanked by sons Herbert, on the left, and William, on the right.

The photograph - from the family archives - is believed to have been taken at the salvage corps station at Southwark Bridge Road, according to the Blyth's ancestors.

The salvage corps station - No. 3 - was located opposite the headquarters of the old Metropolitan Fire Brigade Station at Southwark and protected D District, which covered South London, according to Wikipedia.


March 04, 2008


Illustration: The Fireman's Own Book, By George P. Little - 1860

In the 19th Century, the Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire operated a system of escape ladders across London.

Established in 1836, the rescue service - independent of the London Fire Engine Establishment - became operational in 1843, when six stations opened, each staffed by a sole fireman in a sentry box called a ``conductor.''

The escape ladder service was so successful that the number of stations outnumbered those of the regular fire brigade. By 1866, the number of rescue stations had increased to 1866, according to Haydn's Dictionary of Dates and Universal Information.

``In 1858, 504 fires had been attended, and 57 persona rescued,'' Haydn's said in its report on the society. ``In 1861, it was stated that 84 lives had been saved by the society's officers. In 1866, 695 fires had been attended, and 78 lives saved.''

Euston to Clerkenwell

In 1846, the Mechanics Magazine reported:

``The Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire, since it was remodelled in 1843, has been progressing in usefulness, and consequently in public favour. The society has for some time past maintained twelve stations, at regular distances, from Eaton-square, Pimlico, to St. John-street, Clerkenwell.

``At each station there is a fire-escape and conductor, who is provided with a crowbar, axe, and rattle ; and it is the duty of each conductor to be with his machine (in the management of which he is well instructed) throughout the night, and to proceed with the same to a fire immediately on the first alarm.

``The report for 1845 is not yet published, but by reference to that for the former year it appears that one or more of the society's fire-escapes attended eighty fires, and happily saved the lives of ten persons, who, it is confidently believed, would have perished but for the timely aid thus offered to them.''


Nonetheless, the machines had their drawbacks.

In the 1860 publication ``The Fireman's Own Book,'' author George P. Little wrote:

``The truth is, that most such require too much adjustment at the critical moment when their services are wanted; either they are in the hands and under the management of those who are too much agitated to do them justice, or they have to be brought from a distance, and to undergo a long process of adjustment.''

The Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire merged with the fire brigade in August 1867.