THE 50th anniversary of a major fire which ripped through a Linwood paper mill and killed a firefighter is to be remembered with a special service.

Edmund Burt was 23 when he died in the blaze at the R & W Watson mill in October 1968. 

He was killed when part of the building collapsed and trapped several crew members. He could not be rescued despite his colleagues being pulled out to safety.

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On Sunday, October 7, exactly half a century since the blaze, residents and community leaders will mark the 50th anniversary of the tragic event.

A commemorative stone will be unveiled in memory of Mr Burt at the Napier Street site of the former mill, which was demolished.

The Gazette:

Cllr Alison Dowling supports the idea 

Graeme Binning, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer for Renfrewshire, said: “It will be an honour to lay this commemorative stone, which will act as a sincere memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of Edmund Burt, and all firefighters in Scotland who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

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There will be a gathering in Napier Street at 2pm before a service in Tweedie Hall. 

Councillor Alison Dowling, who represents Linwood, said: “I think this event is very important to remember the loss of life.”