Tom Roberts, one of Mersey Fire Brigade's most militant activists, was praised by his striking workmates after he refused to tackle a bonfire-related blaze at his own home in Liverpool.
The fire, which resulted in the complete destruction of his uninsured home and left his family needing hospital treatment for smoke inhallation, was watched by Roberts from the safety of his garden shed. 'The fire was ferocious and ripped through the house in minutes, probably because of the petrol and fireworks I store in the loft. I decided to not bother with the expense of house insurance because I only live round the corner from the station and on any other night my mates would be round in seconds.'
Roberts added that 'Saving enough money to buy another house will take many years, and I will need to work until I am 65. I wonder if the goverment would be kind enough to let fireman retire at that age? That would make my day.'