Fire Escapes, occupiers of a house should have a piece of rope or chain long enough to be able to climb down from their window to the ground in case of fire the report also thought it was a good idea for the fire brigade to have a ladder and should be kept in readiness with a pair of wheels attached for transportation to the fire also a light wicker basket or cradle useful for lowering women or the sick and infirm from the windows to the ground.
It could take from ten to thirty minuets for the fire brigade to arrive at the scene it also took some while for the water pressure to build up for the hoses in Newcastle the fire station was next to (and still is) the police station.
Gateshead had only two fire engines and the water mains only extended through certain parts of the city "In the event of any great fire taking place the supply of water would depend on proximity to the river and public and private wells and the necessary fire engines coming from Newcastle.
The Fire Brigadier, a suit invented in 1843 by Mr. Briarwood of the London Fire Establishment to protect fire fighters from flames and smoke the suit had a stout leather hood and dress with a tube attached for air to be pumped in from an engine outside the building this protected from fumes and flames. The suit had a lantern attached to the breast to provide illumination and it had a whistle fitted to the hood so the fire fighter could communicate. The suite was used by the London Brigade and did apparently work as some lives were saved I do not know if this suit found its way to the Newcastle Brigade but thought it was worth a mention as it was equipment available in the 19th century.
[SEE ALSO -Gateshead Fire 1854.]
Source:-The London Illustrated News, November 18, 1843
Report on Newcastle Upon Tyne and other towns,
Royal Commission on the state of large towns, Parliamentry papers 1845.
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