Author Topic: Woolworths Fire  (Read 38302 times)

brianm

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #30 on: 21:00:44, 14/01/12 »
I worked opposite Woolworth's on Oldham Road
On that fateful day I heard a few screams coming from across the road. I dashed to the window and noticed flames coming from the window - I immediately phoned 999. I believe I was the first one to phone. The time was approx 12.50pm. We were on the third floor directly opposite Woolworth's. We could see everything - images which I will never forget.
 
It was a tragic tragic day - one I will never ever forget.

celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #31 on: 21:31:45, 14/01/12 »
Nowadays you would be offered therapy for post traumatic stress :(
 
 
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

joan38

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #32 on: 23:43:10, 21/01/12 »
I was in Manchester that day with my sister we had gone into Manchester to register my fathers death as my father had died that week we will never forget the scenes around Piccadilly

Terrence Henderson

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #33 on: 20:04:33, 28/03/12 »
I went one day to the Marks and Sparks in Cardiff, went up the stairs and saw a woen that smiled, then vanished in mid stairs. I spoke to the staff and they said that is an Irish immigrant some have seen there.
 
Years after I spoke to someone in Manchester and they stated the same had happened where people had died in the Woolworth' tragic s incident on buidlings taken over after the fire.
 
I tend to veer away from the tabletappers, spiritualism, as they are just people making a few bob for their ' new religion' and things like that, and do not know now any more than before that happened. I feel that about Europe, did we not have a vote for free borders, only to have them closed down by the French when French shopper came to the UK for cheaper goods?,of two things I cannot understand, as we have no free access to Europe without hinderancand ther is no travel permit, European travel card,  as promised from the UK to there.
Hate political bigots!

Terrence Henderson

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #34 on: 20:05:17, 28/03/12 »
'Woman that smiled'
Hate political bigots!

limitedstop

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #35 on: 09:06:44, 19/05/12 »
don't remember woolworths fire. remember department store in 1950's name of PAULDENS. anyone else remember that one?
that was a big fire.

Jdbooth50

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #36 on: 22:06:23, 29/07/12 »
Not a new story, but I do have some new information. Horse's mouth. The person responsible for fire safety was off sick, and the person responsible for fire safety if she was off was also off. According to a fire fighter on duty at the time, the main reason so many lives were lost was because nobody took any notice of the fire alarms. There was an alarm sounding, and most people were leaving the building, but a man who entered the building while the alarm was sounding had a betting ticket in his pocket, dated and timed after the alarm went off, but when he went into Woolworths, he assumed the alarm was a false alarm. Had this from a fire officer on duty at the time.

cheethamgirl

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #37 on: 07:14:17, 30/07/12 »
That surprises me.  I saw a huge number of people galloping down the stairs in a panic, getting away from the fire.  Although at first I just thought it was football hooligans or 'steamers' (those who ran amok robbing folks) it soon became clear there was something seriously amiss and the rest of us shoppers followed them into the street.  No-one took charge and it was not clear for some time what was happening.  I then crossed over to Lewis's and bought what I was looking for in their basement.  It must have been more than 20 minutes later that I emerged back into Piccadilly and that's when I saw the black smoke pouring out of the upper storey windows and staff trapped on the window ledges trying to breathe.  I think they must have found the fire was between them and the stairs/escalator and couldn't get out that way.  By that time the fire brigade and police were on the scene.  There seemed to be a problem with getting the fully extended turntable ladder to the staff at the window however, and I recall one poor man trying to climb out, but the sill wasn't wide enough to stand on and the poor soul was enveloped in black smoke and desperately trying to get air.  We had no idea there were people in the building still.  It was awful watching someone helplessly and thinking he might die.  The majority of staff who died however were around the back, trapped in the accounts room which had bars on the windows. One thing I've learned over the years is that if you want people to move, and for whatever reason, the best thing to do is to shout 'fire!'. 
Author of True Crime: 'Odd Man Out - A Motiveless Murder?'

Guyfawkes

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #38 on: 12:16:53, 30/07/12 »
I was only 18 at the time and was on lunch from work in the piccadilly area and saw this awful disaster unfold.
3 years on i was still working at the same place, when my boss introduced me to a "new member" of the team. He was a smart elderly man (about 55 but to me at the time he was elderly) but was very logical and methodical in his work. I am ashamed to admit but i must have been "agist" at the time and questioned his speed and indeed his ability when i was told a story which immediately stopped any "agist" thoughts i had and made me grow up.
The guy (Herbert Wheeldon) was the now retired Divisional Commander of GMC Fire Service at the time of the Fire and he was the one who when he received notification of the events said 'keep me informed", and as it became evident what was happening changed his reply to "I am on my way in", called for a driver and raced in with lights flashing in the Commanders car.
To Bert's credit he never discussed the events, suffice to say "we done everything possible to save lives"
So any young guns out there who possess "agist" thoughts you have no idea what experience/life skills the person you are referring to has under his belt.
"Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you"

Barney Fire

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #39 on: 12:06:07, 05/09/12 »
Crews in first attendance London Road and Salford.

andypandy123

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #40 on: 13:17:09, 16/09/12 »
don't remember woolworths fire. remember department store in 1950's name of PAULDENS. anyone else remember that one?
that was a big fire.


i remember pauldens was in hulme at the time.....stretford road

MargaretB

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #41 on: 11:17:59, 18/09/12 »
Oh my word, I was living in Los Angeles at the time in an apartment.  One of my neighbours on the ground floor shouted up to me that as I was from Manchester, England I might be interested in an item that was on the news about a big fire.  Turned on my TV to see Woolworth's and remember just sitting down with shock.  Then thought to phone home and check if any family members had been in town then, possibly even in Woolworth's - all a bit of a panic.  Thankfully no-one I knew had been caught up in it but being so far away was terrible.  I had already decided to come back to the UK and how I felt being so far away from eveyone at such a terrible time just confirmed to me I had made the right decision.

MCGINTY

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #42 on: 11:40:30, 11/11/12 »
Only just come across the thread and spotted a couple of hazy recollections;
re Badharp #25 & 27 Must be an age and memory thing ops but the jobs at Mother Macs and China Lane were before the Woolworths Fire, although as you say we all hoped there would be nothing like that again....have to confess though I don't recall anyone from London Rd on the 45' ladder pitched to the barred window...unless there was another ladder pitched to the same window.
re Guy Fawkes...sorry but don't recall Herbert Wheeldon being at the fire...not actually ever heard of him...but then again that may be my memory.
re Barney Fire....remember the photo session but not seen the pics for years!!!
Fire was indeed on a Tuesday, day after the bank holiday, and I have to confess I have heard more 'urban myths' about this job than any other. First call to the fire service came from taxi firm at 1.28 with fire engines ther within 2 mins. 10 peaople died, all within the builing and one the first floor....9 were customers and one was a member of staff (ex auxillary fireman in the war). The cause of fire was put down by the coroner as probably an elictrical wiring fault causing polyeurathene foam filled furniture to catch fire and give off noxious (cyanide) fumes. This cause was directly responsible for the introduction of regulations govrning the content of furniture resulting in many lives being saved.
ps regrding what it was like inside.... very hot, dark and smokey.

celeste

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #43 on: 18:32:40, 16/11/12 »
Noticed the whole of the Woolworths building empty today, the Amusements which was on the ground floor gone
 
Anyone know if it's to be re-let?
All that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Jim44

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Re: Woolworths Fire
« Reply #44 on: 20:08:06, 16/11/12 »
Woolworth building:

I believe it's going to be a hotel or appartments.