Search

Emotional firefighters say goodbye to Belsize Fire Station

11:48 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 News Stories

18:12
Ian Campbell outside Hendon Magistrates' Court. Picture: Polly Hancock.

A man who threatened to burn down a bus packed with Jewish women and children has been jailed for five months for his anti-Semitic tirade.

17:00
Left to right: Jeremy Clynes, Deborah Warland, Hetty Colchester and Jonathan Seres, who all helped to set up Garden Suburb Community Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Campaigners who took over running their local library to save it from closure fear that new multi-million pound cuts will “decimate” Barnet’s library service.

16:45
Will Jenkins, of Highgate School, was a finalist in the 11-14 category at the 50th Wildlife Photograher of the Year Awards

When an 11-year-old Highgate schoolboy leapt out of a swimming pool to capture a striking dragon-like iguana on camera, he had no clue the snap would class him among the best young photographers in the world.

08:56
Patrick O'Leary

A member of a violent gang that burst into a woman’s home and stabbed her in the face with a screwdriver has been jailed.

Most read news

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Another two men were taken to local hospital with serious injuries.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition