A woman has died in a fire in Holloway, north London, after bosses took a fire engine from the local fire station.
Firefighters in the FBU union say Mary Kendrick, who was 74 years old, might have been saved on Sunday 5 December if the fire engine hadn’t been taken.
Holloway FBU rep Paul Carpen said that if the engine had been there “we could have been at the incident in 90 seconds to two minutes.
“Within five minutes we could have been on the top floor and giving her first aid.”
The fire authority confiscated 27 fire engines from across London for scabs to use during the recent firefighters’ strikes. They have not been returned.
This meant firefighters had to come from stations further away from Mary’s flat, wasting vital minutes.
Joanne Knight, who lives in the flat underneath, said: “The house was ablaze for a while before the firefighters got here.
“One of the neighbours and the lady’s husband were trying to break down the door.
“The husband was covered in black soot. He looked straight at me with this most devastated face, as if he knew there was nothing he could do.”
Mary Kendrick was pronounced dead at the scene.