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Fireman who battled infernos—breathing deadly smoke

PUBLISHED: 22:25 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 05 October 2010

A FIREFIGHTER looking back to his time serving in London’s East End has written a book recalling 30 years on the front line. Retired officer Allan Grice, now 62, served more than three decades at fire-stations in one of London’s busiest inner city fire-fighting areas, around Bethnal Green, Bow and Hackney

By Dean Valler

A FIREFIGHTER looking back to his time serving in London's East End has written a book recalling 30 years on the front line.

Retired officer Allan Grice, now 62, served more than three decades at fire-stations in one of London's busiest inner city fire-fighting areas, around Bethnal Green, Bow and Hackney.

He gives the inside story in Fighting Fires and Eating Smoke, a "fireman's story of infernos and rescues."

NO BREATHING MASK

He revealed: "Not everyone in my day had breathing apparatus. So you had to get into a blaze and stay low.

"But you still managed to breathe in the acrid smoke."

Allan looks back fondly on working in the East End, a busy time especially on the frontline at Bethnal Green.

He also worked for a time in the London Fire Brigade's operations centre in Lambeth before it moved to Millwall and recalls major disasters including the 1975 Moorgate tube train crash in which more than 40 commuters were killed.

Fighting Fires and Eating Smoke is on sale at £17.99 at bookshops, or online from theBook Guild website.


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