‘DRINKERS to rescue as pet store blazes’.
This was the headline of a story in the Telegraph & Argus on January 2, 1985.
The report began : ‘Regulars at a Bradford pub rescued dozens of animals trapped in a blazing pet store.’
It informed how, on New Year’s Eve 1986, drinkers in The Smithy off Thornton Street rushed to the store, identified as In The Swim, as hearth threatened to engulf the constructing and get rid of the pets.
Station officer Alan Jones explained to the T&A that when the hearth brigade arrived a person had damaged the door of the shop and a quantity of animals had been eliminated.
“Quite rightly they decided the smoke from the fire threatened the animals and they took motion,” he additional.
“They took birds, guinea pigs and other animals out. The snakes and additional unsafe specimens have been in glass circumstances so they had been guarded from the smoke and were being still left alone.
“One fireman was taken to hospital with concussion soon after an object fell and hit him on the head but his accidents had been not major.”
Station officer Jones mentioned that the fireplace officer’s helmet saved his daily life.
Tim Rhodes, landlord of The Smithy, said a single of his door team and several regulars brought animals into the pub just after the rescue.
These pictures, capturing the scene, have been taken by T&A reader Ray Banyard, who labored in the fire company regulate area and was alerted to the incident by a colleague.
“It was a cold night time, raining hard, and it was close to midnight – it was not pretty pleasurable. I noticed the cages currently being taken out by the fireplace officers, with animals and birds in them. I could obviously see rabbits in a single of them.
“There was a large amount of smoke, it was rising by the roof of the developing.”
In just one of his photos a brightly colored parrot can be witnessed in one particular cage and a white fowl – possibly a cockatiel in another.
“There were being 4 pumps in attendance, two from Nelson Road, one particular from Fairweather Eco-friendly and potentially one particular from Odsal,” claimed Ray, whose previous colleague and mate sub officer Joe Greig was present on the career.
One particular of his images shows a hearth officer manning a respiratory equipment manage board.
An additional, taken at the rear of the stone-designed store, in Southgate,reveals the substantial amount of smoke pouring out of the roof of the setting up.
Ray did not know whether all the animals escaped unharmed, but it is very clear that numerous did.
“They did not find out how the fireplace commenced,” added Ray.
The store is very long absent. It was positioned in the space wherever Provident Economical and Jurys Inn now stand.
*Do you try to remember In the Swim, or any other Bradford shops that no lengthier exist?
E-mail your recollections and photographs to [email protected] isles