The daughter of a fireman who was tragically killed in the Low Moor explosion more than 80 years ago has spoken for the first time of her father's bravery.

Yesterday, Edith Bower, 82, whose father Fred Normington perished in the blaze with five other fighfighters, attended a special service at Scholemoor Cemetery to pay her respects to those who had died.

A grim total of 39 men died in the blaze which destroyed the Low Moor Chemical Works on August 21, 1916.

The other firefighters who lost their lives were Charles Sugden, 44, Knighton Pridmore, 48, Eli Buckley, 29, Edgar Shaw, 24, and Joseph Edmund Binns, 29.

The blast ripped the gas works apart and fire damaged rolling stock at the nearby railway station. Workers' hair was saturated in bleach and their faces stained with yellow chemicals.

Windows in homes up to two miles away were shattered by the blast.

The firemen were believed to have been killed when their fire engine exploded as they fought the blaze.

Mrs Bower, of Eccleshill, was only ten-weeks-old when her father died but spent the early part of her life hearing tales of his bravery.

"He must have been courageous to fight those fires. I would have liked to have known him because from the stories I have heard he has made me very proud," she said.

Her father was posthumously awarded a medal from the fire service for his gallant service at the blaze, which she wore to yesterday's service.

She said her father preferred horse-drawn fire engines to the newer motorised ones. "He used to challenge his colleagues that he could get to a blaze a lot faster than he could with a horse, than the motor engine - and he did," she said.

Representatives from Fairweather fire station, the Fire Brigades' Union and Bradford Trades Union Council gathered at the memorial service to lay red roses at the firefighters' graveside.

The event, organised by BTUC, was part of an annual workers world memorial day.

The day remembers workers who have been killed, disabled or injured at work. It also promotes health and safety at work.

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