Search

Emotional firefighters say goodbye to Belsize Fire Station

PUBLISHED: 11:48 09 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:40 09 January 2014

Firefighters leave Belsize Fire Station for the last time. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Firefighters leave Belsize Fire Station for the last time. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder outside Belsize Fire Station for the last time this morning as the historic station closed its doors on 100 years of service.

Demonstrators outside Belsize Fire Station protesting against the station closure. Picture: Nigel Sutton. Demonstrators outside Belsize Fire Station protesting against the station closure. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

They were greeted by crowds of supporters as they left the station having rescued a man from a fourth floor flat fire in Oval Road, Camden Town, just hours earlier that morning.

Emotional staff at the station in Lancaster Grove, Belsize Park, emerged from the Grade II listed building having finished their final shift just after 9.30am.

The station, which opened in 1915, is one of 10 London fire stations closing as part of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s, bid to make £29million savings.

Firefighters based at the station will now move to different stations across London while it is believed the station’s engine will head to Kentish Town Fire Station.

As staff left today, security officials moved in to take control of the building.

At this stage, the station’s future use is uncertain but there are fears it will be converted into luxury private homes.

To mark today’s closure, demonstrators led by Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, Andrew Dismore, and Labour’s Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate Cllr Tulip Siddiq gathered outside the station.

Addressing the demonstration against the closure, Mr Dismore said: “We will see more people die as a result of these cuts... Boris Johnson should be ashamed of himself.”

It is believed average response times for fire engines will soar following the closures, with residents in six Camden wards having to wait an extra minute or more for an engine.

Belsize ward will be the hardest hit, with the average waiting time nearly doubling from four minutes 37 seconds to seven minutes 59 seconds.

James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), said: “Londoners will continue to receive one of the fastest emergency response times in the world from the London Fire Brigade.

“The brigade is faced with significant budget cuts which mean that changes to the service are inevitable and we are able to make those changes without compulsory redundancies.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Detectives have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a rape in Camden.

Yesterday, 18:05

The English Democrats candidate for Holborn and St Pancras wants to give England its own parliament, “properly” celebrate St George’s Day and open a 24/7 NHS animal hospital.

Yesterday, 16:21

An independent candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn has devoted his campaign to pushing for a “smarter Brexit”.

Yesterday, 12:31

Camden and Haringey parents are descending on parks this week for protest picnics and assemblies against school funding cuts.

Yesterday, 12:04

A leading violinist has spoken of her “huge relief” at being reunited with her 317-year-old violin, just in time for her performance at the Belsize Music Festival.

Yesterday, 11:11

The Department of Health’s data sharing guardian believes the transfer of 1.6million patient records was not ‘legally appropriate’.

Yesterday, 10:03

A 17-year-old moped rider was rushed to hospital after a police chase resulted in a crash in East Finchley.

Yesterday, 07:00

Plans have been announced to create a 60-foot-wide, half-mile-long park on a disused stretch of railway between Camden Town and King’s Cross.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now