The fire in question was in 1987. On the back of the photo are two dates Nov 1988 and November 1997. We are assuming the first date was when the photo was taken on the 1st anniversary of the fire and the second date the photo may well have been used again on the 10th Anniversary.
It also says: Kings Cross Fire Hero. Temporary Leading Fireman David Flanagan of St Michaels Road, Canvey and works at Clerkenwell Fire Station.
In this weeks Echo was an article featuring David which you can link to here, where David, who was one of the first firemen on the scene says:
“I started seeing people coming up the escalator with their hands and scarves over their faces. That was the first sign we’d seen of a fire. As I turned around, suddenly the fire flashed over. At that point we beat a hasty retreat back out the way we’d come.”
He said the crew, were, “fearing for their lives at that stage to tell you the truth”.
After escaping the area, Mr Flanagan and his colleagues spent between ten and 15 minutes struggling to get back down into the station.
“It was extreme heat,” he said. “It was only a short flight of stairs, going down about 12 to 15 feet, but it was an intense heat.
“I had a firefighter with me who’d only been at the station six or seven months. He talked about it afterwards and he said he wouldn’t have gone back down there because he was frightened.
“The only reason he came back down there was because he thought that I knew what I was doing. We talked about that even at his retirement two years ago.”
If we find the clipping from 1988 we will add it later.