LOGO OF West Bengal Fire & Emergency

Fire Service Week

The greatest fire tragedy in India was the Bombay Docks explosion of April 14, 1944. A fire occurred in a ship called "Fort Strikine" in the Victoria Docks. The ship was carrying ammunition and explosives. A series of severe explosions occurred, destroying about 14 ships. That day 336 people died and 1040 were injured. The explosions were recorded over 1000 miles away at Shimla. The total property loss according to the then calculations was approximately 100 crore. This was the worst explosion in the history of fire services in India which destroyed buildings in over 100 acres of Bombay Docks area. The death toll in the catastrophe was estimated at about 500, including 66 gallant officers and men of the Bombay Fire Brigade. Those gallant officers and men laid down their lives in the cause of safety, welfare and prosperity of the community.

To commemorate the gallant firemen who sacrificed their lives while combating fire disasters and to give due to recognition to fire services, as also to make the public aware of the necessity of minimizing losses from fire which have been mounting over the years, the Govt. of India declared 14th April as Fire Service Day and later on 14th to 20th April as Fire Service Week to be observed nation-wide every year.

A commemoration parade is held in which the names of all firemen who laid down their lives in the cause of duty is read out and wreaths are laid at the memorial column.