Edmund E Burt

Firefighter Edmund E Burt, died aged 23 while on duty at a fierce fire at Linwood paper mill on Monday 7th October 1968.

The emergency call was first received at Johnstone Fire Station at 2.43pm which is documented in the Western Area Fire Brigade report of 1968.

The report states whilst fighting a fire at the Linwood Paper Mill in the 19th century building which was once a cotton store, four of the employees had been caught in a surge of flame,” says the report.

“They were being treated for various degrees of burns while the appliances were arriving, the report documents a pump had been sent out along with a water tender, turntable ladder and other equipment from Paisley Fire Station, 10 jets and one water tower jet were brought into use to control the fire and were fed from pumps operating from street hydrants and an open water supply in the mill, John Apolb whose family owned and operated the mill was the last man to leave the building.

“There was a tragic aspect to the fire, as at approximately 15.45 hours, the west wall collapsed and trapped four crew members. Rescue operations were mounted and three members were recovered alive, but the fourth member had been killed by the falling masonry”

The firemen who were taken to hospital were Gerrard Gallacher aged 26 of Seedhill Road, Ian Smillie aged 25 of McKenzie Street, Charles Bishop aged 52 of Sycamore Avenue Johnstone and Gordon Squires aged 22 of Holmecroft Street Greenock.

The memorial to Mr Burt who came from Largs was unveiled on Napier Street, Linwood on the 50th Anniversary in 2018.

On the day of the funeral of Mr Burt 250 firemen lined the avenue as a fire tender bearing the draped coffin slowly made its way to Woodside Crematorium.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Photos from the 50th Anniversary

Edmund E Burt 50th Anniversary Memorial Service Napier Street Linwood

Photos from the 51st Anniversary

Edmund E Burt 51st Anniversary Memorial Service Napier Street Linwood