Soho Fire Station

is one of London's busiest stations. 

The London Salvage Corps

The first Soho Fire Station was originally built in 1888 for the London Salvage Corps. The London Salvage Corps attended fires alongside the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. They were responsible for protecting property from excessive water damage, smoke and from looting. The station housed four horse-drawn salvage traps and was able to accommodate the families of the salvage men and officers in its six storey structure. The station was sold in 1921 to London Fire Brigade and the building was modified to accommodate three motorised fire engines. 

Second World War Heroism

On 18 September 1940, just after the start of the Blitz, Soho’s Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) substation at Rathbone Place fire station received a direct hit from a bomb. The building was virtually demolished and seven members of the AFS died. Firefighters Harry Errington, John Hollingshead and John Terry were sleeping in the basement of a three-storey garage being used as an air raid shelter close by. Errington risked his own life trying to save his colleagues. For his bravery Errington was awarded a George Cross by King George VI on 21 October 1941. He is one of only two firefighters in London to have received this honour. Shortly after, a bomb directly hit Soho Fire Station on 7 October 1940, killing a LFB Station Officer and an AFS firefighter.


After the damage done in the Blitz only the ground floor of the fire station remained. An extra story was constructed on the top of this to provide temporary accommodation. The station remained in service until 1983 when it was rebuilt on an adjacent site.  On 24 August 1983, the new station A24 Soho was opened.

Kings Cross Fire 

Soho's firefighters were the  first to attend the fire at King’s Cross underground station on 18 November 1987. The cause of the fire was due to a match or cigarette being dropped by a traveller on a wooden escalator as they exited the station. The fire erupted causing a flashover spreading flames into the ticket hall. More than two hundred firefighters fought the blaze. Thirty one people died including Station Officer Colin Townsley. 

Soho today

Firefighters at Soho Fire Station attend, on average, 3,909 incidents a year. The station responds to a variety of incidents including fires, lift releases and flooding. 

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