Stephen lost his life in the line of duty on the 1st of October 1978. His Red Plaque was presented on the anniversary of his death, the 1st of October 2018.
A firefighter at Barbican Fire Station, Stephen was killed by a wall collapse while attempting to rescue another firefighter during a major warehouse fire. From Basildon in Essex, Stephen was twenty-four at the time of his death.
On the night of his death, Stephen was one of dozens of firefighters called to tackle a major warehouse fire near King’s Cross, described as one of the worst blazes London had seen since the Blitz. Fanned by high winds, the fire was consuming a large warehouse containing flammable goods such as toys, paints, plastics, and furniture, and firefighters worked to contain it before it could spread to neighbouring buildings. Along with other firefighters, Stephen was attempting to help a colleague who had become trapped forty feet up a ladder when a fifty-foot wall collapsed, killing him and injuring others. The trapped firefighter survived, and the fire service praised Stephen for his courage and selflessness in fighting to protect his colleagues in the face of danger.
Today, Stephen is fondly remembered by his family, former colleagues, and brothers and sisters in the FBU. His memorial can be found on the major street in Euston where he bravely fought to get his colleague to safety.
Photo credits: Fire Brigades Union and Firefighter