On April 14th 1944, there was a great fire on board ship S.S “Fort Stikine” in Victoria Docks, Mumbai.
The Vessel was loaded with cotton bales, explosives, ammunitions and gold bars worth 2 million sterling pounds. Within short span of time there were series of blasts and explosions. All resources of fire fighting from Port, Navi Mumbai Fire Brigade and Industries could not hold the fire. The ground rambled as if there was an earthquake. Soon thereafter the ship S.S “Fort Stikine” flew up and flames from the devasted area were raging inferno which could be seen from miles away. There was huge loss of lives and property. The exact number of dead, injured and the property loss could not be assessed except 66 firemen from Port fire services, Mumbai Fire Brigade and Auxiliary Fire Service who had laid down their lives I heroic action in combating the evil fire
The Government of India, in recognition of those firemen who sacrificed their lives in Mumbai Dock Explosion and firemen all over the country who lay down their lives during fire fighting action decided to observe 14th “April as Fire Services Day” every year to pay tribute and remember those brave and dedicated souls.
Central, State, Local Governments and Industrial Fire Services arrange befitting ceremonial programmes to pay homage to the brave departed firemen’s soul. Fire Services Week (14th April to 20th April) is also arranged to promote fire prevention activities and to create fire safety awareness amongst the masses by arranging lectures, demonstrations and screening film shows.
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