London’s Burning: 6 Unforgettable Moments

Crazy car smashes, terrifying hostage situations and one very grumpy taxi driver stuck in a toilet. All just part of the job for the boys and girls of the Blue Watch.

London's Burning


There the team were, happily nattering and bantering while driving their fire engine to another routine call-out (or "shout", to use the proper firefighter parlance). Then, boom! Out of the blue, a car swerved out right in front of them. Colliding with the vehicle, the fire engine was sent whooshing up the back of a parked truck like it was a ramp, before smashing back onto the ground on its side. Yes: the massive fire engine was literally left lying on its side in the middle of the road, with shattered glass everywhere and thick oil belching from its innards. Making matters worse? The driver of the car that caused the accident turned out to be stinking drink, which caused Hallam to go ballistic. "You bleedin' drunken irresponsible lunatic!" he yelled at the dozy driver. And we'd have to concur with his assessment.


Called out to a funeral parlour, the lads were initially amused at the instruction to make a "silent" approach out of respect for the dead. "What do they want us to do, muffle the wheels?" one of them mused as they drove up to the address. It turned out the basement of the funeral parlour was completely flooded, meaning our boys had to wade in up to their waists amid floating wreaths and bobbing coffins. Which was a pretty surreal sight, especially as grieving relatives were still milling about the upper levels as if nothing weird was going on. Still, at least none of the lads was disrespectful enough to get inside one of the coffins and burst out screaming to frighten his colleagues. Oh, our mistake. He did EXACTLY that.


The firefighters thought they'd seen it all... until they were faced with a man sitting in a car, alongside another man he'd doused in petrol and was threatening to set alight. It turned out, the lunatic pyromaniac was a jealous husband, and his fuel-soaked captive had been having an affair with his wife. A nerve-jangling stand-off with the police and fire crew ensued, punctuated only by the occasional incredibly unhelpful comment from Blue Watch onlookers ("Geezers completely off his head if you ask me," one observed, with Sherlock-like insight). There wasn't a happy ending either - the jealous husband only went and actually lit a flame, causing the whole car to erupt in a terrifying (but also rather impressive) fireball.


Not all of the shouts have been quite so deadly or dramatic. Take the case of the cabbie stuck in a public toilet. And we don't mean having his bum superglued to the seat. Quite remarkably, he'd managed to get stuck inside a urinal. Having accidentally dropped his car keys down the hole of the urinal, he'd then reached in to fish it out, getting his arm thoroughly wedged in the pipe. On arriving to see the man sat by the urinal with half his arm down the bottom of it, one of the firefighters couldn't resist a quip. "What did you do, change your mind?" he said, smirking. "You can't recycle it mate, it's gone."


Poor old John Hallam. Never quite the life and soul of the party, even Christmas couldn't put a smile on his face. The presence of his grumpy father-in-law didn't help - especially when said father-in-law decided to splash copious amounts of brandy all over the Christmas pudding. Hallam, not realising just how soused the pudding was, went to light it at the dining table and was promptly faced with a miniature inferno which burnt off his eyebrows. Bah humbug indeed, especially when the lads at the station saw their newly singed superior and broke into song: "Ding dong merrily on high, the sub has got no eyebrows!"


Called in by a cantankerous old lady who said her neighbour was "trapped in his tank in the garden", the Blue Watch naturally assumed the fellow in question had somehow got lodged in his septic tank. Nope. When she said tank, she meant a tank. As in, a gigantic military tank which had seen action in World War Two. "She's a beauty," one of the firefighters said, coming over all patriotic. Getting the old soldier out of the thing was tricky though. "You know, we should really be asking what the army would do in this situation," one of the team mused. To which another replied: "They'd probably call the fire brigade."