Jeff Naylor

Jeff Naylor

Jeff lost his life in the line of duty after being fatally injured at a house fire on the 27th of April 1983. His Red Plaque was unveiled on the 7th of July 2019.

On 10 July 1983, thirty-five-year-old firefighter Jeff died as a result of the severe burns he sustained ten weeks earlier at a domestic blaze in Keighley. Five children trapped in their home were rescued by firefighters including Jeff, although two later died of their injuries. Their mother called Jeff ‘the bravest man I have ever seen.’

Following a flashover caused by the intense heat in the house fire, Jeff was found collapsed in the hallway holding one of the young children, with his uniform in flames. Jeff’s death underlined the need for vital improvements to safety procedures, clothing and equipment, which were introduced to protect firefighters from flashovers and other intense heat risks.

A thousand firefighters from across the country attended Jeff’s funeral, bringing Keighley to a halt. The town has named a fire engine in his honour, and Jeff’s Red Plaque can be found by the Malsis Road entrance to Lund Park, Keighley, a short walk from the scene of the fire. Both reflect a lasting tribute to Jeff, who is remembered fondly by all who knew him.

Photo credits: Neil Terry

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