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Whilst engaged in fighting a serious fire in a warehouse, a firefighter of the Glasgow Fire Service became trapped. Six of his colleagues entered the property to rescue him.
Whilst evacuating the property after successfully rescuing the trapped firefighter, a massive flashover of extreme heat overtook them resulting in the deaths of all seven firefighters.
The men who lost their lives were: Divisional Officer Andrew P. Quinn, Leading Fireman Alastair Crofts, Fireman William McL. Hooper, Fireman Duncan A. McMillan, Fireman Allan Finlay, Fireman Iain R. Bermingham, and Fireman James W. Rook. The latter four were all serving at the South Fire Station.
The people of Glasgow were shocked by this, the second major fire service tragedy in 12 years. As had happened following the Cheapside Street Disaster in 1960, a huge crowd lined the streets as hearses bore the bodies of the Kilbirnie Street victims to Glasgow Cathedral for the funeral service. The bodies of six of the seven firemen were then taken to the Necropolis where they were interred in the vault under the Cheapside Street memorial.