Search

Brave firefighter who raced towards the Silvertown explosion

PUBLISHED: 10:00 19 January 2017

Fireman Frederick Sell with his youngest son Sydney outside the family home, one of the firemen's cottages in Fort Street which were destroyed in the explosion

Fireman Frederick Sell with his youngest son Sydney outside the family home, one of the firemen's cottages in Fort Street which were destroyed in the explosion

Archant

When workers and their families were frantically rushing away from the dangers, Silvertown Fire Station’s staff headed straight towards the flames.

Frederick Sell whose daughter Winifred died along with her father during the explosion Frederick Sell whose daughter Winifred died along with her father during the explosion

One firefighter who made the ultimate sacrifice was Frederick Sell.

A father of six, Frederick was one of two firefighters who lost their lives as a result of the explosion which followed the fire.

His daughter, 15-year-old Winifred, also died as a result of injuries caused by the blast.

Frederick’s grandson, David Sell, who lives in Wotton in Norfolk, continued: “I think she had a broken back.

“The effects of the explosion went on for years and years,” he said.

For David, as a boy, discovering what happened to his granddad, who was posthumously awarded the King’s Police medal and West Ham Fire Brigade medal for his bravery, was not easy with his family keeping it from him.

“They kept it bottled up in the hopes it would go away,” the 80-year-old added.

After discovering what happened, David feels strongly about his grandfather’s sacrifice.

“I feel proud, but I feel it’s sad because it’s something that shouldn’t have happened.

“All the firemen knew what the risks were. They knew what might happen and they didn’t run away from it,” he said.

“It was sheer, bloody courage.”

Plaistow fire fighter Mark Young, who has been in the service for 30 years, added: “I imagine it must have been very difficult because they must have known people who worked there.

“It’s a lot easier to do the job when you’re slightly removed because you need to concentrate on what you’re doing,” the 53-year-old father of two explained.

“They were brave, courageous men.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham News Stories

A new community centre offering joh, health, legal and housing advice is set to open in Stratford.

Yesterday, 21:26

Concerns are growing for the welfare of a missing 16-year-old girl who was caught on CCTV in Stratford.

Yesterday, 18:59

The mayor of Newham has signed a pledge to switch the borough’s street lamps to use energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Newham Council
Yesterday, 15:45

A man who was injured while volunteering at the London Olympics has lost all his £27,758 damages payout because of his dishonest claim for gardening expenses.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now