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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Newspaper account of Argyle Street fire in May 1949

List of Major Fires and Other Incidents in GLASGOW

Jan. 15, 1832 - Fireman James Bruce fell to his death from a ladder at a fire in the former Queen's Court building, east side of Queen Street. [STV]

Dec. 5, 1856 - Fireman John Harrison died after the collapse of a burning building between Buchanan Street and Queen Street, south of the Royal Exchange. [STV]

Sept. 22, 1864 - The Central Fire Engine Station sent men and equipment to a fire aboard the vessel James in Glasgow Harbor. [Glasgow Herald]   Link

July 9, 1872 - Explosion at Tradeston Flour Mills, Glasgow, killed 18 people and injured 16 others. [Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, Vol. 25, Jan. 31, 1906]

Jan. 7, 1898 - On Renfield Street, four firemen - John Battersby, James Hastie, Charles Orr and David Smith - died in an explosion and collapse at W&R Hatrick & Co druggists. [STV]

June 15, 1903 - Fire and explosion at whiskey distillery and adjacent flour mills killed seven people. [Evening Record of Windsor, Ontario]   Link 

Nov. 19, 1905 - Fire at a "cheap lodging house for men" claimed 39 lives. The structure, located on Watson Street, housed more than 300 men when the fire broke out. [New York Times]

Dec. 6, 1920 - Subway collision injures 10 people. [Glasgow Herald]   Link  

On Dec. 19, 1920, the fire brigade contended with a canal full of blazing whiskey from a distillery fire. [Milwaukee Sentinel]   Link

July 2, 1921 - At fire at Miller and Argyle streets, Frederick True and James Farquharson, of the fire brigade's Western Division, died when the building collapsed. [STV]

Dec. 25, 1925 - Fire at flour mill in "Partick" district of Glasgow. [Glasgow Herald]   Link

Dec. 24, 1927 - Christmas Eve warehouse fire tragedy at Graham Square resulted in the loss of four firemen. They were James Conn, Harry W. M’Kellar, David Jeffrey, and Morrison Dunbar of the central fire station. [STV]   Link

April 9, 1929 - Fire struck the vessel Pacific Trader at Princes Dock, Berth No. 4, Glasgow. [Glasgow Herald]   Link

Dec. 31, 1929 - Panic at Glen Cinema in Painsley killed 71 children. [Daily Record]

May 7, 1941 - Nazi air raid.

May 4, 1949 - Thirteen female garment shop assistants died in a fire at Grafton’s fashion store, Argyle Street. Two managers received the George Medal for leading five others from a fourth floor window onto a ledge. [STV]

May 18, 1957 - Fire and explosions at Riverside Milling Co. [Associated Press]   Link

Dec. 13, 1959 - A blaze broke out aboard the cargo ship Deerpool at Stobcross Quay, and the fire brigade rescued the ship's fifth engineer, Ronald Scarfe, 21, who was overcome by smoke. [Glasgow Herald]   Link

Dec. 1, 1960 - Station Officer Douglas Mearns died after a fire on the German cargo ship MV Pagensand at Princes Dock. [STV]

Nov. 16, 1967 - House fire in Cumbernauld claimed the lives of four children under six as well as station commander William Clark, who suffered a heart attack. [STV]
Nov. 18, 1968 - Fire at A J & S Stern’s furniture factory on James Watt street claimed the lives of 22 employees trapped by flames, barred windows and locked fire escapes. [Glasgow Herald, STV]   Link

Nov. 3, 1969 - A blaze at the Theatre Royal, then used by Scotish TV, claimed the life of Glasgow Fireman Archie McLay, who "fell through a trapdoor in the building and was unable to activate his BA distress warning system," according to STV. "Another firefighter who attended the blaze, John Jamieson, went on to invent an automatic Distress Signal Unit (DSU) for firefighters which would go off if they stopped moving for 30 seconds."
March 28, 1970 - Fire in a top floor flat in Deanston Drive, Shawlands, claimed the life of station officer James Mathieson, who collapsed and died. [STV]

Oct. 21, 1971 - Explosion at Clarkston Toll shopping center near Glasgow killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others. [STV]

Aug. 25, 1972 - Seven firemen perished at Sher Brothers warehouse on Kilbirnie Street. Divisional officer Andrew Quinn, leading fireman Alastair Crofts, Iain Bermingham, Allan Finlay, William Hooper and Duncan McMillan died trying to rescue fireman James Rook. [STV]   Link

Nov. 18, 1972 - Fire at a tenement on Maryhill Road spread to Great Western Road, killing sub officer Adrian McGill and a resident in a top floor flat.  [STV]  Link

1973 - Fire destroyed the Close Theater.

April 16, 1979 - Five people died when two commuter trains collided near the Paisley Gilmour Street station. More than 60 others suffered injuries.

March 7, 1989 - Two commuters trains collided near Glasgow's Bellgrove station, killing two people and injuring 44 others. The fire brigade cut through the wreckage to reach victims. [Glasgow Herald]   Link