Very good firefighter dog who was sent into Grenfell Tower retires
Murphy the cocker spaniel, who was sent into Grenfell Tower, is retiring (Picture: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire)

The brave fire dog sent into Grenfell Tower after the tragedy is retiring after four years helping keep Londoners safe.

Murphy the Cocker Spaniel is leaving active duty because his handler, Mick Boyle, is leaving the London Fire Brigade after 30 years of service.

Mick’s other trusty dog Roscoe is also retiring at the grand old age of 13, a year after being named Animal of the Year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Both Mick and Murphy entered Grenfell Tower looking for accelerants in the building – with the dog even having to wear specially made boots to protect his paws.

Very good firefighter dog who was sent into Grenfell Tower retires
Retiring Fire Brigade dog handler Mick Boyle with Murphy and Roscoe (Picture: London Fire Brigade)

In 1997, Mick joined the Fire Investigation team which was then based in Clapham, a move he made as he had always been interested in the investigation side of things.

‘Putting out fires is a very important part of what we do, but also finding out why fires are happening.

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‘As a firefighter watching the Fire Investigation team methodically working through a scene, sometimes of sheer devastation, to be able to pinpoint what caused the fire grabbed my imagination and attention.’

Mick joined LFB in 1987 at Tooting green watch and was appointed to the fire investigation team in 1997.

He was one of the brigade’s first dog handlers and his two dogs have attended more than 2,000 incidents, usually sniffing out ignitable materials.

Very good firefighter dog who was sent into Grenfell Tower retires
Walking off into the sunset: Roscoe and Murphy are retiring after over 2,000 jobs (Picture: London Fire Brigade)
Very good firefighter dog who was sent into Grenfell Tower retires
Murphy with his specially made boots to protect his paws (Picture: London Fire Brigade)

Mr Boyle, now aged 55, said: ‘The dogs are all about keeping the people of London safe and they have been an exceptional success. Every time I work with them and they find something it gives me immense satisfaction and I’m always amazed.

‘I never ever get tired of it when they do find something. I’ve always had pride in my two dogs.’

He added: ‘I will miss it but it’s the right time to go – I have got some incredibly good memories and I’m going at a time when the LFB is right up there and incredibly well thought of.’

Fire dogs are selected at an early age, live with their respective handlers and are provided with specially adapted transportation and kennels while on duty.

The dogs help to speed up the search process and allow crew to explore damaged corners of buildings that humans are unable to reach.