Firefighters protest against fire cuts outside city hall, London

Mayor's cuts to blame for Camden fire death

A coroner has recorded an accidental death verdict for Choi Yip, the 85 year old man who jumped from his third floor Camden flat as it was engulfed in flames in October last year.

At the time of the incident, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said frontline cuts to fire services in the capital contributed to the 13 minute response – almost double the emergency response time target – that fire crews took to arrive at Mr Yip’s apartment.

Paul Embery, FBU regional secretary in London, said the verdict put the legacy of London mayor Boris Johnson in the dock. “Choi Yip’s life could have been saved if Belsize fire station, one of 10 the mayor closed in 2014, had remained open. The station was a stones throw away from Choi’s flat and would have been able to mobilise fire crews to the emergency a lot more quickly. This was a tragedy that could have been averted.

“We’re seeing these kinds of tragedies much more often. As there are fewer firefighters and fire engines it is taking firefighters longer to get to emergencies. Lives are being lost. It is a national scandal.

“During his tenure as mayor, Boris Johnson has decimated the capital’s frontline fire and rescue service. His reckless behaviour with the lives of Londoners should disqualify him from ever being prime minister.”

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