“One of the members of the Glasgow Fire Brigade has lost his life under somewhat sad circumstances. On Friday forenoon, October 20th, 1899, a request was received at the Central Fire Station, College Street, for the use of hose, to extinguish a fire that had broken out in the Dalquharran Colliery, Dailly, Ayrshire. As there was little time to catch the 11.15 a.m. train, one of the firemen, Robert Forrest was instructed to take the hose to Dailly, and to explain the method for connecting to the water supply. On his arrival, Forrest was prevailed upon by those in charge of the pit to assist them in their efforts to extinguish the fire. Along with four or five other men, he descended the pit and laid the hose, and after the water had been turned on they were all returning to the bottom of the shaft, when Forrest was observed to stagger. He was assisted by two men, and at once taken to the pit-head. A doctor was in attendance but, unfortunately, Forrest succumbed in a very short time. It is believed he had been overcome by choke damp. Forrest was a well-known and much respected member of the G.F.B. and was for years in charge of the hose, helmet and bootmaking dept., and his loss under such circumstances is deeply deplored by every member of the brigade. He leaves a widow and five of a family.”
NOTE: Choke Damp—Carbonic Acid Gas which accumulates in the lower parts of coal mines, wells, etc.
(Glasgow Herald—October 23rd, 1899)