Maryhill Road Fire

Maryhill Rd Fire

Maryhill Rd Fire , image courtesy of Mitchell Library

On a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon in November 1972, Sub Officer  Adrian McGill lost his life while trying to rescue a a 43 year old woman from a burning building in Maryhill Road.

The fire had started in a disused furniture shop at 23 Maryhill Rd, one of a row of shops beneath a tenemental block housing many families.

Incredibly some residents had smelt smoke hours earlier but not taken any action. The speed with which the fire spread once it took hold, was blamed on the early Victorian construction methods, exacerbated by alterations carried out in 1875.  It took the firefighters nearly six hours to bring the fire under control.

More than 50 families were made homeless and Woodside Hall in Glenfarg St was turned into an  emergency reception centre.  Taking place just a few months after Kilbirnie St fire when seven firemen were killed, there were  calls for greater enforcement of existing bye laws on fire prevention, and  special measures to be applied to disused buildings, especially under tenements.

The Firefighter’s Heritage Trail is an excellent online resource for more information and photos about this incident, as well as  other fires across the city where firefighters lost their lives.


2 thoughts on “Maryhill Road Fire

  1. Katrina Murphy

    Still remember this fire as if it was yesterday.

    The shop was Trident, which was getting work done over a number of weeks. I remember the TV’s going in. They had been working in the shop everyday including weekends, but not that day.

    I was 10 years old and was playing out the high back. I spotted bits of lightened paper and thick black smoke coming up the flue.

    I ran in and told my mum (we lived directly above the shop at number 27) and she told me to go and let all the neighbours know which I did.

    We had a cat and a dog. My mum took the dog, but as she opened the door the cat ran out. I chased her and she went out the back, I followed, but she leaped down to the low backs. The smoke was much thicker and really belting out the flue coming from the shop.

    I went back in and my mum had my sibblings and we went down the stairs. As we were about to head out to the street the firemen shouted to stay there and the shop window blew out onto the street.

    We were taken to Woodside Halls and then onto Forrest Halls until we got a house in Knightswood.

    We lost everything in that fire, but the most important thing is we were all ok.

    We went back everyday to search for our cat. We eventually found her after a few months and she lived until she was about 19/20 years old.

  2. A Ramsay

    I am now retired after serving for over thirty years and only have one word for the officer who perished and truly gave his life so others can live ,Respect..,…..


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