Black Britain: New Cross Fire – January 1981

The New Cross house fire was a fire that occurred during a party at a house in New Cross, south-east London, in the early hours of Sunday, 18 January 1981. The fire killed thirteen young people aged between 14 and 22, and one survivor committed suicide two years later.

The party was a joint birthday celebration for Yvonne Ruddock (one of the victims of the fire) and Angela Jackson (who survived) and was held at No. 439, New Cross Road. It began on the evening of Saturday, 17 January 1981 and continued throughout the night and into the early hours of Sunday.

During this period, there was a high degree of racial tension in the area and far-right groups including the National Front were active locally.

No one has ever been charged in connection to the fire.

Rest in Peace. 🙏🏾

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