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Thursday, July 23, 2015


"There was a flashover."

On Oct. 12, 1977, flames destroyed Hyndland Secondary School, Glasgow.

The fire brigade contended with low water pressure.

The West End News reported: "T
he Water Board were carrying out work within the area" and "urgent requests were made to have the pressure increased."

 Audrey Edmiston said: “When I arrived the roof was just falling in. There were sparks everywhere, and the smoke was thick and black.”

Another pupil, Catrina Campbell, said: "I witnessed the whole fire from the first moment we saw smoke coming from the top floor. I could feel the heat from the road below, and it was very spectacular when the windows blow out.”

In an account posted on the website Urban Glasgow, Michael Fleming, a fire officer assigned to the Knightswood Station firefighter, recalled "there was no sign of fire" on arrival.

"After about ten minutes of investigating inside the school a member of the public ran to the fire engine to inform us that smoke was coming from under the eaves of the roof on the far side of the school entrance.

"My crew of four men where sent to the roof void with a line of hose to attack the fire.

"When we got into the loft we spied the fire at the far end of the building and proceeded to drag our line of hose as near to the flames as we could when suddenly there was a flashover which cause us to exit the roof space as quickly as possible before it engulfed us all in flames

"The whole roof void was now an inferno.

This school was built in Victorian times and had lath and plaster walls and ceilings throughout which meant it had many nooks and crannies behind the walls and ceilings which allowed embers from the fire in the roof to drop to the ground floor inside the walls causing fires in classrooms all over the school.

"The speed at which this occurred was amazing. By this time there were many fire engines in attendance trying to save the school.

I remember my crew were fighting fires in classrooms all around us on the top floor when the water was cut off suddenly for about ten minutes.

"We retreated to the only classroom not involve yet in fire and waited in terror for the water to come back on again.

"That was the longest ten minutes of my life as we tried to think of some way to escape if the water was too late coming back on.

If I remember correctly workmen had been in the roof space with an acetylene cylinder working with tar before they went for their lunch that day."