Kite, John – Dublin Fire Brigade

This plaque, at 10 Trinity Street, Dublin 2, commemorates Fireman John Kite, the first member of Dublin Fire Brigade to be killed in the line of duty.

Just before 9.30pm on the night of 20th of March 1884, the Fire Brigade were alerted to a fire at 10 Trinity Street, now Cotswold Outdoors. Firemen from two nearby fire stations – Coppinger Row off South William Street and Whitehorse Yard off Winetavern Street, were on the scene in minutes.

The building was on fire at basement and ground floor, and on the third floor. Firemen entered the building at ground level and from a wheeled escape ladder to the third floor.

The fire was quickly under control when without warning, the building collapsed burying nine firemen inside under masonry, timber and slates. Remaining firemen outside the building, with assistance from police and soldiers from the nearby Ship Street Barracks, set about removing the rubble to find the missing firemen.

Eight were rescued, many with serious injuries, but unfortunately one fire fighter, John Kite, lost his life. His death was reported by the Dublin City Coroner to have been due to ”suffocation in the ruins of a house while carrying out his duty”.

He was the first Dublin Fire Brigade fire fighter to lose his life while on duty. Fireman John Kite was survived by his wife Eliza and six children.

The plaque was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste, and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Michael Reilly, on 20 March 2024.