Monday, September 17, 2012

JAMES WATT ST. - 1968






On Nov. 18, 1968, a fire at A J & S Stern’s furniture factory on James Watt Street in Glasgow claimed the lives of 22 employees trapped by flames, barred windows and locked exits.

Flames devoured wooden stairwells in what once had been a bonded whiskey warehouse, hence the barred windows.

Recalling the fire in September 2001, the Glasgow Herald said:

"Around 70 firemen, beaten back by the fierce heat, could only watch as the trapped workers smashed windows with chairs and tried to bend the iron bars to let them jump into the street.


"Smoke enveloped the street and soon the screams and shouts stopped."

The flames were fueled by the burning of polyurethane foam, which was used in furniture industry.






According to Wikipedia:

"The alarm was raised at around 10:30 a.m., with the first crews arriving within five minutes.

"A serious fire was seen to be in progress, and a "Make Pumps 10" message was sent to control almost immediately (additional appliances required, which in addition to those already there would total 10).

"As part of this request for reinforcements, a "Persons Reported" message was sent, indicating persons were requiring urgent assistance and rescue.

"Many attempts were made to enter the building where the employees were believed to be, but intense heat drove back the firemen.

"The Glasgow Fire Service personnel eventually gained access to the building, by cutting through the steel doors using oxy-propane cutting gear."

Members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps also attended the fire.