A MEMORIAL is to be unveiled to a Keighley firefighter who died after battling to save young children from a blazing house.

Jeff Naylor died in hospital ten weeks after being badly injured as he and colleagues fought to rescue the five trapped youngsters from a property in Broomhill Walk, Keighley.

Two of the youngsters lost their lives in the blaze, but the other three were saved.

Now – 36 years on from the tragedy – Mr Naylor is to be honoured with a plaque at the Malsis Road entrance to Lund Park, which is close to the scene of the fire.

The plaque has been funded through a lottery project launched last year by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), to mark its centenary.

“Using funds raised by the scheme we are recognising fallen firefighters,” says Dave Gillian, chairman of the West Yorkshire FBU and the Bradford divisional secretary.

“A lot of firefighters have given their lives in the line of duty over the years and this is a good way of honouring their sacrifice and helping to ensure they will never be forgotten.

“The plaque itself is being funded through the Firefighters 100 Lottery but we have been seeking donations to cover the cost of the stone plinth on which it will be mounted.”

He said the initiative had been supported by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Bradford Council.

“I’m delighted that the project has come to fruition and the result should be a fitting memorial to Jeff,” he added.

The plaque will be unveiled and dedicated in a ceremony on Sunday (July 7), at 11am.

The event will include speeches and a minute’s silence, and a piper will play.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Afterwards there is a reception at the Kirkgate Centre in Shipley, during which the film – The Firefighters’ Story: 100 years of the Fire Brigades Union – will be shown. Attendance at that will be restricted.

Mr Naylor, who was 31 and had been with the West Yorkshire brigade for eight years, was called to the Broomhill Walk fire with his fellow watch members on April 27, 1983.

Children were confirmed as being in the house, and Mr Naylor and his colleagues went in to save them.

Mr Naylor was badly hurt and succumbed to his injuries on July 10.

Mr Naylor and his breathing apparatus partner Steve Harrison – who was hurt in the incident – were awarded the Queen’s commendation for Bravery, along with further commendations from the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

In 2013, three decades on from the tragic event, a plaque was unveiled on Keighley’s fire engine in honour of Mr Naylor.

Several family members were among the 70-or-so people who attended the event, which included a minute’s silence and a prayer reading.

And the following year, tribute was paid in a book, Images Of Fire, charting major blazes tackled by West Yorkshire crews over four decades. It was compiled by a team at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and ex-Devon Chief Fire Officer, Neil Wallington.