A memorial plaque has been unveiled in honour of a firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty in the Highlands.

Today, dozens of people gathered at Inverness Fire Station to remember Roderick MacLeod, who died fighting a fire in Invergarry on May 21, 1981.

The Isle of Lewis man was serving in Inverness when his watch was called to a large fire at Aberchalder Lodge. He died fighting the blaze when the building collapsed, despite the brave efforts of his colleagues to rescue him. 

Nearly 43 years to the day of the tragic fire, MacLeod’s family, members of the public, and both serving and retired firefighters were in attendance for the ceremony and plaque unveiling. A piper recital was followed by a minutes’ silence and wreath laying.


The plaque is part of the Red Plaque project, run by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery.

Speakers included Fire Brigades Union officials, with an address from Colin Brown, FBU executive council member for Scotland; Ross Haggart, chief office for Scotland Fire and Rescue Service; the Lord Provost of Inverness and Area, Glynis Sinclair Campbell; and former friend and colleague of Roderick’s, John Urquart. 

The Herald:

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary said: “The Fire Brigades Union pays tribute to fallen firefighters through our Red Plaque project. It is our duty to remember those who have come before us, as part of the history of our fire and rescue service and our communities. 

“Firefighters everywhere honour Roderick MacLeod, and we will always remember his sacrifice.” 

The Herald:

Seona Hart, Fire Brigades Union Scotland regional treasurer said:  “Today we have gathered in honour of firefighter Roderick MacLeod, who lost his life in May 1981 fighting a fire at Invergarry.

“By coming together in his memory, we will ensure that his bravery and service to his community will never be forgotten.  

“The Red Plaque will stand at Inverness fire station as a place of remembrance and reflection for all.”