The sacrifices of two firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty have been commemorated more than six decades after their tragic deaths.  

Divisional Fire Officer (DFO) John Jamieson Buist died at a fire at Grants Jute Warehouse, Dundee on 13th April 1962, after being trapped by burning bales of jute. 

The second firefighter remembered, William Carnegie, was fatally injured less than three months later while attending a fire on Mains Road in the city on 14th June 1962. 

Two plaques have been unveiled at Blackness Road Fire Station in Dundee to honour the two men, who both served with the Angus Area Fire Brigade.  

Tam McFarlane, FBU National Officer said the fhrefighters’ heroics would never be forgotten.   

John Jamieson Buist died fighting a fire at Grants Jute Warehouse, Dundee on 13th April 1962, after being trapped alongside two colleagues when the blaze ripped through the building.  

Reports from the time speak of a “nightmare battle” inside the warehouse, which contained 2,000 tons of bound jute, much of it smouldering and difficult to extinguish.. 

Fireman Buist was buried by debris, and his colleagues William Joiner and Harry Anderson were cut off, when bales collapsed and fell from the upper tiers of the building, forcing other crews to hack a hole in the wall to try to pull them to safety.  

For two hours teams of firefighters attempted to mount a rescue operation among the burning piles of jute, with workmen said to have been physically restrained from trying to help.  

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Searchlights were rigged up by a local doctor, Dr Courtenay Wade, who had hurried from his bath to offer assistance and paused only to don a fireman’s helmet before joining the rescue party, carrying a satchel of medical equipment. 

Firemen Joiner and Anderson were able to get free, but the effort ended in tragedy when DFO Buist’s body was found among the wreckage.  

The Herald:

John Jamieson Buist 

He was survived by his wife, a former firewoman and young son at the Northern Fire Station. Fireman Buist was 53 and had 30 years’ service when he died.  

William Carnegie, the second firefighter commemorated, died after he sustained severe head injuries from falling 30 ft off the roof of a two-storey tenement.  

Mr Carnegie was one of two men who broke into a burning tenement flat to find the source of a blaze which threatened to grow out of control.  

While climbing out of a window to check if the fire had spread to the roof, the ledge he was standing on gave way and he plummeted to the ground.  

He was taken to hospital and died of his injuries on July 8th, at 44 years of age and was survived by his wife and their 17-year-old son.  

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By coincidence, his wife’s brother-in-law was fireman Harry Anderson, who narrowly escaped the blaze which claimed the life of DFO Buist three months before.  

The Red Plaques of commemoration are part of a scheme set up by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) during its centenary to remember firefighters who died in the line of duty.    

The ceremony included speeches from FBU senior officials and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service senior officers, with an FBU piper and Lord Provost, Bill Campbell, on behalf of Dundee City Council.  

FBU Regional Treasurer, Seona Hart, said: “John Buist and William Carnegie lost their lives while serving and protecting the people of Dundee. The Red Plaques we have unveiled today will ensure the memory of their sacrifice lives on.  

“Both firefighters died while attending fires in the local area, and both left behind loving families and a bereaved community.  

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“As firefighters we will never forget those who have died in the line of duty, and with these plaques they now have their place in public memory as part of the history of the city’.  

Tam McFarlane, FBU National Officer added: “Every Red Plaque represents a firefighter who lost their life in the line of duty. There are now over 80 of these memorials representing almost 200 fallen firefighters across the UK, reminding us of our shared history.  

“Each unveiling ceremony is a moving tribute to firefighters who sacrificed their lives, as well as to their families and colleagues.  

“Today we have come together as a community to remember the enormous bravery and sacrifice of John Buist and William Carnegie. We will ensure they are never forgotten.”