Firefighters who lost their lives in Tower Hamlets fire remembered with plaque on 30th anniversary


The Fire Brigades Union has marked the 30th anniversary of a tragic fire in Tower Hamlets with a red plaque, which commemorates firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. Two firefighters – Terry Hunt and David Stokoe – died in the warehouse fire on Gillender Street, Bow.

The fire was not brought under control for several hours, and was attended by more than 25 fire engines.

The red plaque was unveiled and blessed yesterday at All Saints Church, with FBU general secretary Matt Wrack performing the unveiling. The plaque will be put up at a later date, in the Silvertown area – where the firefighters were based.

Matt Wrack has personal links to the tragedy. He knew both men and he had worked on the same watch as Terry Hunt.

He also attended and investigated the tragedy on behalf of the FBU, and lived just five minutes away from the fire at the time.

The incident is credited for helping to improve safety procedures for firefighter’s breathing apparatus. Additionally, the fire brigade was ordered by the Health & Safety Executive to improve training after the fire.

Matt Wrack said:

“This was a tragic loss of life that has stayed with me ever since and which affected all concerned. David and Terry did their duty and went into a dangerous warehouse fire, but paid with their lives. We continue to remember their bravery today, and they continue to be missed by their families, colleagues and friends. At the FBU we are committed to remembering them, and fighting for firefighters’ safety today.”