London Fire Brigade

Bravery commendations for east London firefighters

07 October 2014

Firefighters from east London have received commendations for their bravery when attending a fire on Bethnal Green Road, E2, in which two firefighters died. The ceremony took place on 1 October.

On 20 July 2004 fire crews were called to a serious fire at a shop with flats above in East London. Conditions at the scene were extremely difficult due to the layout of the building, lack of visibility and intense heat. 

Firefighters Bill Faust and Adam Meere became trapped inside the building and despite the worsening conditions were located by their colleagues and carried out.

Sadly Bill and Adam died from their injuries. The Brigade has awarded ten firefighters with commendations for their acts of bravery.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson said:

"Ten years ago firefighters Bill Faust and Adam Meere paid the ultimate price for ensuring the safety of Londoners. 

"Bill and Adam were much loved and respected, they are greatly missed but they will never be forgotten. Today we commend the  actions of their colleagues.

"Their bravery and professionalism reminds us of the commitment demonstrated every day by London’s firefighters.”

Crew Manager Damian Magee, aged 42, managed to bring Firefighter Faust to a place of relative safety. He received a Commissioner’s Commendation for his bravery. 

Crew Managers Craig Fenner, 32, and Ian Thornton, 48, Watch Manager Richard Harris, 43, and Firefighters Gary Cassettari, 35, Dean Hughes, 42, Tony Lovell, 50, and Jon Summers, 33, all received Assistant Commissioner’s Commendations for their actions at the incident.  

Sadly, Firefighter Jay Sharland, who was also at the incident, has since died, and he receives a posthumous award. His family received the commendation on his behalf.

Watch Manager Jon Scott, from Shadwell, 51, was not at the incident. However, he received an Assistant Commissioner’s award in recognition for all his efforts over the last 10 years on behalf of those involved and the families of Bill Faust and Adam Meere. This includes organising an annual event in memory of his colleagues who died. 

At the time of the incident Crew Manager Damian Magee was based at Shoreditch Fire Station.

Crew Managers Craig Fenner and Ian Thornton, and Firefighters Gary Cassettari and Jay Sharland were at Bow Fire Station. 

Watch Manager Richard Harris was at Bethnal Green Fire Station; Firefighter Dean Hughes was at Whitechapel Fire Station; Firefighters Tony Lovell and Jon Summers were at Kingsland Fire Station; Watch Manager Jon Scott was based at Shadwell Fire Station.

The incident in 2004 led to a long investigation and a coroner’s inquest. 

The Brigade felt it was fitting to award these commendations close to the tenth anniversaries of the death of the two firefighters.