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Cheapside Street Fire

Glasgow City Archives, Deposited Collections

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Cheapside Street Fire

The view looking north along Cheapside Street showing some of the devastation caused by the fire of 28 March 1960.

During the early stages of the fire a sudden and unforeseen explosion occurred inside the warehouse, and the walls of the building were blown outwards simultaneously into both Cheapside Street and Warroch Street. Emergency service personnel fighting the fire in these streets were caught in the falling masonry, including a Turntable Ladder (TL) fire appliance and its crew. The explosion caused the deaths of fourteen Glasgow Fire Service and five Glasgow Salvage Corps crew members, Glasgow’s worst peace-time disaster of the 20th century.

Several of the 21,000 whisky and rum casks that had been stored in the building can be seen amidst the ruins. Hoses are playing on the rubble to damp down the embers of the fire; because of the presence of so much highly-flammable liquid on the site, it took a week to extinguish the flames completely.

Reference: TD1431/51/26/3

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries, Information and Learning

Keywords:
bonded warehouses, Cheapside Street Fire, disasters, explosions, fire appliances, fire engines, fire fighters, firemen, fires, Glasgow Fire Brigade, Glasgow Salvage Corps, hoses, hydraulic ladders, lorries, rum, streetscenes, whisky



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