London Fire Brigade

LFB 150 - Soho fire station bombed in 1940

07 October 2016

As we celebrate our 150th anniversary we're looking back at some of the most significant and some of the more unusual incidents that have taken place since we were formed in 1866.

Soho Fire Station is London’s busiest station covering famous theatres, hotels and London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade.

Virtually demolished

At 7.45pm on 7 October 1940 a bomb hit the doorway of the fire station. It suffered severe damage and was virtually demolished.

Two passers-by sheltering in the doorway were killed and several firefighters also lost their lives. Two other firefighters were trapped under rubble, but both were released unharmed.

Three fire engines were covered in rubble. The station's entrance was completely block by debris. Survivors had to slide down bricks and mortar to escape.

Made in the 80s

A temporary station was set up on the same site and remained until the station was rebuilt in 1982.

The Honours and Awards board at Soho features such war time heroes as Harry Edrington, Colin Townsley who lost his life at Kings Cross and Soho’s Blue Watch who attended the 7/7 bombings.