ROBERT WRIGHT, POLICE CONSTABLE OF CROYDON, ENTERED A BURNING HOUSE TO SAVE A WOMAN KNOWING THAT THERE WAS PETROLEUM STORED IN THE CELLAR - AN EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE AND HE WAS KILLED APRIL 30 1893.
Unfortunately, his bravery was in vain: although he thought he heard a woman scream and rushed to rescue her, there is nothing in the inquest report to suggest that anyone was in the house. In fact, the family who lived there above their oil and colour shop had gone on holiday to Gravesend.
There was another problem at the scene of the fire: some of the firemen were drunk. The evidence suggested that they had already become inebriated before attending the fire; the inquest was assured that their conduct would 'receive the serious attention of the authorities.' This suggests that the Croydon fire brigade was not quite as disciplined a body as its London counterpart.