Fire chief tribute to fallen hero

Tragic firefighter Ewan Williamson
Tragic firefighter Ewan Williamson

By Cara Sulieman

THE head of Lothian and Borders fire service has paid tribute to the fire-fighter who died whilst on duty at the weekend.

Chief Fire Officer Brian Allaway posted the poignant message on the website of the fire service, saying that it has been “devastating” for everyone who knew him.

And he praised the tragic hero, as well as thanking the public for the outpouring of support that they have given since the incident on Sunday morning.

Alongside the tribute was a photograph of Ewan that his family had asked to be placed on the website.


Mr Allaway said: “This week colleagues throughout Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service and members of Fire and Rescue Services across the UK will be coming to terms with the news that a firefighter has died on duty.

“Of course uppermost in my mind is Ewan’s family who will have to bear this tragedy in the days and months to come.

“As the family told me, Ewan’s death came as an horrific shock but even in their grief, the love and pride they had for him was clear to see.

“I can pay no better tribute than to use their words to describe the kind of man Ewan was – wonderful, kind, outgoing, a great sportsman and loved by everyone.

“They also told me that Ewan loved the Fire Service and they hoped that people would take the time to remember those who risk their lives every day in public service.”

“Close-knit community”

Mr Allaway went on to say that firemen in the force would need to find a balance between mourning Ewan’s death and making sure that they still do their job properly.

He said: “We must now come to terms with this tragic loss whilst at the same time continuing to ensure that we deliver the kind of professional and dedicated service that the people of Lothian and Borders have come to expect from us.

“As a close-knit community, I know that we will strive to achieve this and that we will continue to support each other in that aim.”

Ewan was killed as the floor of the burning Balmoral Bar in the Dalry area of Edinburgh gave way.

He and another colleague, Oliver Carrigan, fell through to the basement while they were trying to rescue the 20 people trapped inside.