Sgt Sharon O'Neill

Sharon KC fire

Sgt Sharon O’Neill was on duty at the time of the fire and responded to a call to the station.

She had just arrived at the station and entered the underground in the Metropolitan Line booking hall.

There was smoke but people were evacuated and trains stopped. A short time later the flashover happened in the main booking hall and travelled fast towards her in the Metropolitan booking hall.

Along with station staff, she ran towards the end of the booking hall and they managed to shut themselves in an office.

Sharon said: “Smoke was hitting the window, coming through the keyhole and under the door. We were frozen. We thought we were going to burn to death.”

Sharon said: “I remember seeing it and thinking, how could tiles burn?”

Fortunately, Sharon and the underground staff were able to escape when they realised the smoke rather than flames had moved back and they were evacuated by one of the trains that was still running.  

Sharon said: “We went down the tunnels, stopped a train and managed to climb into the driver’s cab. The underground staff went further but I was dropped at Euston Square. I then walked back to King’s Cross to keep helping. When I got there, it was madness. It was too much to take in.

“I found my officers and they said: ‘You’ve been reported missing.’

“I said, ‘Well you’ve found me now.’

On entering the booking hall of the fire with the fire service I saw that the heat was so intense that concrete had cracked, tiles were stripped from the walls and molten plastic was dripping from the handrails.

“Then we worked until about 4am on Sunday and carried on again on Monday. It’s just what you do. My job was to protect. It’s instinct.”

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