Billy lost his life in the line of duty on the 20th of July 2004, alongside his colleague Adam Meere. Their Red Plaque was the first in the Scheme, presented on the 1st of December 2017.
Colleagues on the Red Watch at Whitechapel Fire Station, Billy and Adam were tragically killed while fighting a fire in Bethnal Green, after rescuing another man. At the time of his death, Billy was thirty-six, married with three children, and had been serving at Whitechapel for seven years.
Billy and Adam were among fifty firefighters called to the blaze in a three-storey building that included a shop and housing. After the two men entered the basement, there was an explosion which triggered a collapse and cut off their water supply. Their untimely deaths deeply affected the fire service and triggered key improvements to equipment, communications and safety procedures which protect firefighters from similar accidents.
Today, Billy is fondly remembered by his family, colleagues, and brothers and sisters in the FBU. His shared memorial with Adam can be found in a peaceful public garden near the scene of the fire, around a mile from his former station.
Photo credits: Stefano Cagnoni