Brian Henry Douglas
Brian Henry Douglas lost his life in the line of duty on the 7th February 1973. His Red Plaque was unveiled on the 7th February 2023.
Brian was 26 years old and lived in North Belfast. He had been a fireman for 3 years was survived by his farther.
At 21:05 hrs on the 7th February 1973, two fire appliances attended a fire call to the Groovy Boutique located at the junction of Bradbury Place/Sandy Row. Among those responding was a 26 year old fireman called Brian Henry Douglas. Security forces were in attendance and positioned at various points around the Bradbury Place/Sandy Row corner but were ineffective, so a decision was made to set up a second jet in a more advantageous position across the road at the corner of Malone Place. Fireman Douglas and a colleague identified their route, then ran as fast as they could across the junction hoping to relocate to Malone Place. A short exchange of gunfire immediately followed and Brian was seriously wounded. Several firefighter colleagues gave immediate valuable medical assistance. Brian was then taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria hospital where he later died. All attending Fire Brigade personnel left the scene and returned to Central Fire Station.
On the 10th February 1973, Brian received a Fire Brigade funeral, attended by Belfast Fire Brigade colleagues and firefighters from other UK and Irish Fire Brigades.
The bravery and sacrifice of Brian, who gave his life in the line of duty, was recognised by those who never forgot him, by his colleagues, friends and family by the unveiling of a plaque in his memory at the location of his final fire, Bradbury Place in Belfast.
The unveiling ceremony was on 50-year anniversary and was attended by the General Secretary of the Fire Brigade Union Matt Wrack, Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Andy Hearn, Lord Mayor of Belfast Christina Black, Retired Station Commander Ken Spence QFSM and members of the local community. A minute silence was held that ended with the playing of the Piper’s Lament.
A Red Plaque to all Northern Ireland Firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty was also presented on the 4th of May 2018, Firefighters Memorial Day.
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Photo credits: Fire Brigades Union