Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include Edward VII.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


On Nov. 19, 1905, a fire at a Glasgow lodging house claimed 39 lives.

Known as No. 2 Home, the building at 39 Watson Street housed more than 300 men.

Recalling the fire a century later, the 
Scotsman newspaper said:

``Firemen struggling to reach those trapped inside had to battle up the single stairway, pushing their way through the throng of panic-stricken men flooding towards the one exit.

``The fire had started on the fourth floor, just below the attic where yet more men slept. The firemen had only ten minutes in which to mount their rescue before they were forced back by the heat of the blaze.

``In this time they rescued nearly 40 men – men who would have surely perished but for their perseverance.''

Cut off from below, some residents took to the roof.

The Scotsman said:

``Donald McNab, who was physically disabled and used a rutch, later described seeing men hammering away in desperation at glass windows with their bare hands. He waited with a blind man and a paralysed man whilst the able-bodied around him tried to flee.

``One man, Jack Findlay – later hailed as a hero – used McNab's crutch to break the windows. He returned to help the three disabled men onto the roof and found a ladder leading to a neighbouring building. Over thirty men's lives were saved that way – over the roof, most naked in the bitter cold.''