Crowds line the streets in Edinburgh for funeral of Jenners firefighter Barry Martin | UK News
Thousands of people lined the streets in Edinburgh to pay tribute to a brave firefighter who died after being critically injured in the Jenners building blaze.
Barry Martin, 38, was fatally hurt while battling the fire at the former department store in the capital on 23 January. He died in hospital four days later.
Mr Martin, the much-loved father of eight-year-old twins Oliver and Daniel, was described as a “loving and attentive” dad.
On Friday, fellow firefighters and members of the public gathered along the Royal Mile as Mr Martin’s coffin made its way to St Giles’ Cathedral on a fire engine.
As well as a guard of honour from Mr Martin’s colleagues, a minute’s silence was also observed by the guests.
Ross Haggart, interim chief officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), gave Mr Martin the last salute before entering the cathedral.
Paying tribute to her husband ahead of the funeral service, Mr Martin’s doting wife Shelley said: “Barry was motivated, proud, and driven to be the best he could be, for himself, for his family, for his colleagues, and for the community and wider public.
“Being there for people, during their time of greatest need, meant everything to him in his career.
“Our love, admiration, and respect for him will last forever.”
Prior to joining the SFRS, Mr Martin was a pest control technician and set up his own company with his wife.
Mr Martin was based at McDonald Road Community Fire Station in Edinburgh and was part of the Blue Watch.
A number of tributes have been placed outside the Jenners building, and earlier this week firefighters across the UK held a minute’s silence in his memory.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those attending the service.
ICO Haggart said Mr Martin will be remembered as a “hardworking and loyal” firefighter.
He added: “Our thoughts remain with Barry Martin’s wife Shelley, his sons Oliver and Daniel, and all his family, friends and colleagues who mourn his loss.
“I’d also like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the well-wishers who joined us here in Edinburgh, not only those in St Giles’ Cathedral but everyone who took their place along the Royal Mile.
“Since Barry’s death, we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from around the world and we are grateful to everyone for the time they have taken to share these.
“We all feel this loss deeply and we will ensure that Barry’s selfless duty will never be forgotten.”
Mr Martin, from Fife, is the first Scottish firefighter to die in the line of duty since Ewan Williamson, who died after being injured in Edinburgh in 2009.
MSPs have called for Mr Martin to be posthumously awarded the George Cross, an accolade which dates back to 1940 and recognises acts of extreme bravery carried out by civilians.