Plaque unveiled for ‘brave’ firefighter who died tackling Highland blaze

Roderick MacLeod tragically lost his life fighting a fire in 1981.

A commemorative red plaque has been unveiled to honour the “bravery and service” of a firefighter who died tackling a Highland blaze more than 40 years ago.

Roderick MacLeod, of the Isle of Lewis, died while battling a fire at Aberchalder Lodge, Invergarry, on May 21 1981.

He was serving in Inverness when his crew was called to the fire.

The building collapsed while he fought the blaze, and despite his colleagues’ best efforts to save him, he died.

The plaque, unveiled at Inverness Fire Station on Friday, is part of the Red Plaque project, run by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery.

The ceremony was attended by family members, members of the public, serving and retired firefighters and local dignitaries.

A piper recital was followed by a minute’s silence and wreath laying.

FBU speakers were in attendance, with addresses from Colin Brown, FBU executive council member for Scotland, Ross Haggart, chief officer for Scotland Fire and Rescue Service, the Lord Provost of Inverness and Area, Glynis Sinclair Campbell; and former friend and colleague of Roderick’s, John Urquart.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The Fire Brigades Union pays tribute to fallen firefighters through our Red Plaque project. It is our duty to remember those who have come before us, as part of the history of our fire and rescue service and our communities.

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“Firefighters everywhere honour Roderick MacLeod, and we will always remember his sacrifice”.

Seona Hart, FBU Scotland regional treasurer, said: “Today we have gathered in honour of firefighter Roderick MacLeod, who lost his life in May 1981 fighting a fire at Invergarry.

“By coming together in his memory, we will ensure that his bravery and service to his community will never be forgotten.

“The red plaque will stand at Inverness fire station as a place of remembrance and reflection for all”.

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