Press Centre

Inside London Fire Brigade

  • Episode: 

    2 of 3

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 03 Aug 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 31 2017 : Sat 29 Jul - Fri 04 Aug
  • Channel: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 25 July 2017.
Inside London Fire Brigade
Last month London suffered its most devastating fire since the blitz. The Grenfell Tower tragedy shook Britain to the core and on the front line of the disaster were the heroic firefighters of the London Fire Brigade.  It brought to the fore an emergency service who risk everything to help those in need. 
This three part documentary series followed the brigade over the last year as they responded to a staggering range of emergencies.  It provides a unique insight into their work, with firefighters filming themselves on the dangerous front line using special fire cameras.  It is access on an unprecedented scale to incidents across the whole of London.
In this second programme of the series, one hundred firefighters are mobilised to a massive fire at a garden centre near Heathrow.  Things take a dramatic turn when it’s discovered there is a large quantity of highly explosive gas canisters on site, directly in the path of the spreading fire.  And things go from bad to worse as the brigade realise they don’t have enough water to keep the canisters cool and fight the fire.  
At another incident, the fire brigade have too much water as they tackle a massive flood in Stoke Newington where the high street resembles a river.  A rescue crew is sent into a flooded basement where water levels are rising and it’s feared that someone might be trapped. 
In Shoreditch we meet borough commander Steve who joined the brigade in 1987. He is called to a road traffic accident where a woman is trapped with suspected spinal injuries.  She needs to be cut free from the car but the firefighters can’t do anything until the ambulance arrives.  In a sign of how stretched all the emergency services are, it takes nearly four hours for an ambulance to arrive – the longest delay Steve has witnessed in his 30 years in the brigade. 
Steve is also called to a fire at a building site where building materials are ablaze.  The firefighters struggle to find the seat of the fire as the flames spread to the insulation material in the ceiling.  Firefighting in an enclosed space, with thick smoke and facing extreme temperatures, the conditions are ripe for a backdraft – a deadly development where a rush of air can create a devastating explosion.
And in Battersea, south London, crew manager Edric is considering leaving his specialist rescue crew to join a team who do more traditional firefighting.  It’s a big decision after years working with the same team but a call to a road traffic accident causes him to rethink his future.