By London Fire Journal
On April 10, 1984, fire claimed eight lives - including a hero nurse - at King Edward Memorial Hospital, the only hospital in the Falkland Islands, the remote British overseas territory off Argentina.
Nurse Barbara Chick, 36, who emigrated from Britain a year earlier, "ignored orders to keep out of the burning hospital and stayed with her patients until she was overcome by smoke," the Associated Press reported.
The AP reported that one of the victims was married to a local firefighter.
Royal Air Force firefighters drew water from the sea for the local fire brigade.
The blaze also damaged a prefabricated section of the hospital used by the U.K. military, which defeated Argentine troops in the Falkland Islands War two years earlier.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Aug. 1, MP Michael Stern said:
"Lack of fire doors was perhaps the principal and most obvious cause of the rapid spread of the fire, which was the reason why so many lives were lost.
"There had been many reports in the 1970s of the inadequate fire precautions in this and other public buildings in Port Stanley.
"In 1982, the fire officer, the civilian doctor and the military authorities together demanded the urgent installation of fire doors in the hospital - a wooden building - as the only way of stopping a fire should one break out."
"By the date of the fire, those doors had not even been ordered.
"As a result, whatever the cause of the fire - perhaps inevitably, the report was unclear about the exact cause - it spread rapidly and uncontrollably, and the deaths that occurred were to a large extent inevitable.
"Had fire doors been in situ, the deaths might have been avoided."
A new hospital opened in 1987.
In England, Barbara Chick, a Bristol native, was honored with a ceremony and plaque at Shirehampton Health Centre on Sept. 5, 1984, according to the November 1984 edition of the Falkland Islands Newsletter.
In Memory of Nurse Barbara Chick, S.E.N
A resident of Shirehampton, who
gave her life on 10th April 1984
trying to rescue patients
trapped by a fire at the
King Edward VII Memorial Hospital
House of Commons, April 11, 1984 House of Commons, Aug. 1, 1984