Plaque unveiled in memory of heroic firefighter killed in King’s Cross inferno

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A plaque has been unveiled in memory of a firefighter who died in the King’s Cross fire in 1987.

Colin Townsley was part of the first group of firefighters on the scene, with witnesses reporting that a firefighter, believed to be Mr Townsley, told passengers to get out just before a fireball erupted.

His bravery was recognised, with the official inquiry terming his actions “heroic” and the George Medal being awarded posthumously.

The Fire Brigades Union’s red plaque scheme recognises firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty, and are often placed near the scene of the incident.

The plaque, situated at the London railway station, was unveiled on Thursday on the 34th anniversary of the tragedy.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “The King’s Cross fire was a horrendous incident that led to significant safety changes. Every single life lost that day is a tragedy.

“Today, we remember the bravery of Colin Townsley, who died trying to save others. He and his sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

The FBU noted that the fire led to a number of safety changes, including strengthening safety around firefighters’ protective equipment.

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