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Tuesday Documentary: Season 1969

1969x24 In Case Of Fire

  • 1969-07-07T23:00:00Z on BBC Two
  • 55m
  • United Kingdom
  • Documentary
A film about London's firemen, what they do, what they see. Narrated and produced by Roger Mills The home fires keep burning. One person is asphyxiated by smoke, or consumed by fire, every eight hours. £ 200 goes up in smoke every minute. Firemen see it all and do what they can. Summoned by bells, they have five minutes to get there. They never know what they are going to find: a Crystal Palace; burning rubbish; a would-be suicide; persons trapped. Night is the danger time. This film starts at night, and ends at night. ' London's burning. Fetch the engines. Fire! Fire!' never stops. Neither do the fire calls. No young man is so quickly thrown into the front line as the young fireman today. In a year when no British troops were lost in action, firemen actually suffered shrapnel wounds when an ammunition train exploded at Carlisle. The job grows more complex and more dangerous. New chemicals to burn him, new building materials to gas him or explode in his face. Four firemen died and nearly 400 more were injured in Great Britain last year. But he rarely gets much credit. Fire, fire losses, fire prevention are rarely news. We are still reading about the Great Train Robbery after all these years. A fire on the same scale is forgotten next day. The fire service is now the major emergency force in the country. Few realise that whenever someone dies a wretched, needless death at night, the chances are that it won'be a priest or a doctor who performs the last rites, but a fireman.