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The Firefighters' Heritage Trail

Hope Street

During an extensive and difficult fire in the sub basement of Scottish Television Studios at the Theatre Royal, Sub Officer Archibald McLay of the Glasgow Fire Service was killed during firefighting operations.

Sub Officer McLay of the South Fire Station died and ten colleagues needed hospital treatment before this very difficult fire was brought under control.

Fire crews were called at 16:12hrs to the Theatre Royal, which served at the time as the headquarters for Scottish Television. Smoke had been seen issuing from the sub-basement, a warren of TV production rooms.

Teams of firemen searching for the seat of the fire had to work in total darkness in a smoke-filled atmosphere, exposed to intense heat.

A key feature of the firefighting operation at the STV Studios was the use of a relatively new innovation - Hi-Ex Foam - to smother the fire.

At this time, Glasgow Fire Service was also experimenting with on-route print outs for fire engines, supplying essential information to the fire engines as they proceeded to fires.