“Everything appeared normal for about three minutes. Then, suddenly, we all started collapsing. It just hit us.”
On Dec. 2, 1960, Station Officer Douglas Mearns of the St. Mungo fireboat died battling a fire in the hold of the German freighter M.V. Pagensand at Prince's Dock, Govan.
Eleven other firemen and a dock worker were overcome by fumes.
The firemen were wearing breathing apparatus and “went down like ninepins without warning,” Glasgow Firemaster Martin Chadwick told reporters.
The vessel carried matches, wood pulp and paper.
Berhold Schlinder, master of the Pagensand, said the fire was discovered at sea and that the cargo continued to smolder after the crew sealed the hatches and vents.