A BRAVE firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty more than 50 years ago has been honoured in a special ceremony.

Ronald Dixon, a firefighter at Middlesbrough Fire Station, made the ultimate sacrifice whilst carrying out his duty of protecting the public when he died from the injuries which he sustained during an operation tackling a fire at Middlesbrough Laundry, Windermere Road, Middlesbrough in 1969.

Yesterday, at Middlesbrough Community Fire Station at 10.30am, a large crowd gathered outside the building to watch the unveiling of a commemorative red plaque dedicated to Mr Dixon in honour of his service.

The event was hosted by the Fire Brigades Union and Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Attending the event was Ian Murray, the National President of the FBU, serving and retired firefighters of Cleveland Fire Brigade, Chief Fire Officer of Cleveland Fire Brigade Ian Hayton, local dignitaries and surviving family members of Mr Dixon.

They all laid down commemorative wraiths by the plaque and paid their respects.

The memorial was unveiled by Mr Dixon’s daughter Carolyn Dixon, who gave a heart-warming speech dedicated to her fallen firefighter father.

A special Cleveland Fire Brigade Flag was also flown in Mr Dixon’s honour.

Mr Hayton and Mr Murray also gave touching speeches on the day.

Mr Hayton said: “51 years ago today leading firefighter Ronald Dixon lost his life in the line of duty.

“We are honoured to welcome his family here today to unveil an FBU firefighter memorial at Middlesbrough Community Fire Station.”

He added: “Our firefighters bravely and selflessly risk their lives to protect their communities and it is only right that we have a permanent reminder here that both our firefighting family and the community can see.”

The memorial is part of a national scheme called the National Red Plaque.

The scheme places red plaques around the country where firefighters have lost their lives during an operation as a permanent mark of respect.

It is funded by FBU Firefighters 100 Lottery and assisted by Cleveland Fire Brigade and the Firefighters Memorial trust.