January 25, 2022 10.45 am

30th anniversary plaque to be unveiled in honour of fallen firefighter

Malcolm died on duty in Gainsborough in 1992

A memorial plaque will be placed at the site that saw a Lincolnshire firefighter lose his life on the front line, 30 years on from his death.

The plaque is in honour of Malcolm Kirton, who was 38 when he died fighting a fire at a large furniture and carpet store in Gainsborough on February 2, 1992.

Malcolm was based at Saxilby fire station, and was called to the fire where it was reported that a young mother and child were inside the store.

He and a fellow firefighter when in to search for them, suffering extreme heat exhaustion and Malcolm was eventually found collapsed inside the store by an emergency breathing apparatus crew.

It was later discovered that the mother and child were inside the store, but had managed to escape through a window, something Malcolm and his colleague were unaware of when they went in to search for them.

It will be placed near to the site of the store as part of the Fire Brigade Union’s Red Plaque scheme, which aims to commemorate firefighters who lose their life in the line of duty.

The unveiling will take place on the 30th anniversary of Malcolm’s death, near the Elm Cottage Pub on Church Street, beginning at 1pm and free to attend for the public.

His family members, some firefighter colleagues, national officials from the union and local civil dignitaries will be present at the event.

Ben Selby, Fire Brigades Union vice president and executive council member for the East Midlands, said: “Leading firefighter Malcolm Kirton was a popular firefighter and loving family man with two young children. He gave the ultimate sacrifice in trying to save the lives of others.

“His bravery and what he gave cannot be forgotten, and this plaque will help to ensure this is the case. It will have a prominent position in the local community, and will be a fitting tribute to Malcolm.”

Lincolnshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Mark Baxter, said: “The death of a firefighter while on duty is a tragedy and it’s important that Malcolm and his contribution to the service, is remembered. The events of that incident will live long in the memory of so many people, so having a place dedicated in recognising Malcolm is so important.

“This commemoration reminds us of the bravery of firefighters serving their communities, and of the importance of our continued efforts to make the profession as safe as possible.”