Wife pays tribute to ‘proud’ firefighter killed tackling Jenners blaze

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The family of a firefighter who died tackling the blaze at the former Jenners department store have said he was a “proud” man.

Barry Martin, 38, from Fife, died on January 27 after sustaining serious injuries while fighting the fire at the building on Edinburgh’s Princes Street four days before.

Ahead of his funeral on Friday at St Giles’ Cathedral in the Scottish capital, his wife Shelley paid tribute to him as a “motivated” man who was “driven” to be a firefighter.

She 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.”

Barry Martin and family
Barry Martin was married with twin sons (SFRS/PA)

“Our sons could not have wished for a more loving and attentive father. He was a busy dad, transporting our sons to their various activities, and being there for them,” she said.

“I felt utterly privileged to be his wife throughout our life together and always will.

“Our love, admiration and respect for him, will last forever.”

Firefighters across Scotland will attend the funeral.

A cortege will begin at the base of the Royal Mile and arrive at the cathedral for the service to begin at 12.30pm.

Barry Martin and sons
Barry Martin had twin eight-year-old sons (SFRS/PA)

He was based at the McDonald Road Community Fire Station in Edinburgh and was part of the Blue Watch.

The Blue Watch in all Edinburgh fire stations will be stood down in order for staff to attend Mr Martin’s funeral.

Ross Haggart, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service interim chief officer said: “Our thoughts remain very firmly with Barry Martin’s family as we plan to come together at St Giles’ Cathedral to pay our respects.

“Barry was a much-loved husband, father, son and friend to many. His Blue Watch colleagues and the wider service will ensure that Barry’s selfless duty will never be forgotten.”

Jenners fire
A minute’s silence was observed by firefighters for Barry Martin earlier this week (SFRS/PA)

“Barry was a dedicated firefighter and a well-loved member of the firefighting community. We are very proud that he was a member of our union.

“Like so many firefighters, he put himself at risk to save the lives of others.

“In due course, we will investigate the events that led to his death. Today, we are grieving for a colleague and a friend.”

MSPs, including Alex Cole-Hamilton, 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.

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