Maryhill Road Fire

Maryhill Rd Fire , image courtesy of Mitchell Library
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.