Smoke Eater Style is a Firefighter Owned & Operated business committed to bringing you high quality, uniquely designed and affordable fire fighter apparel. Our Smoke Eater Style t-shirts offer a true reflection of the dedication to duty that we as fire fighters (both past & present) aspire to.                                                                          

Fulfilling a childhood dream and following in his fathers footsteps, Karl graduated from the London Fire Brigade in 1994 and dedicated the next 16 years to being a full time fire fighter in the Devon Fire Brigade. During this time, Karl frequently travelled to New York and Eastern United states riding with different fire companies. Through his travels Karl was lucky to meet some of the best there is, spending time in New York City to Maryland, and everywhere in-between.  

Karl Downton, owner of Smoke Eater Style, with Paul Hashagan FDNY Rescue 1, around the year 2000. 

In 2010 Karl and Rachel decided to pursue a new dream and emigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada where Karl continues to serve his local community as a volunteer fire fighter and as the President of his local Red Knights motorcycle chapter,Nova Scotia 4, based in the beautiful Annapolis Valley. Born from a life long passion for the fire service and all that it stands for, and the desire to share his sentiment for the brotherhood held amongst many a fire fighter, Karl created Smoke Eater Style.

Karl Downton, Owner of Smoke Eater Style with his wife Rachel and 'Sox' the boxer

 Lt Karl Downton & Ff Shawn O'Brien taking a blow after late night structure fire.

Contact us - Tel; (902) 698-2568  e-mail;

Smoke Eater was coined as a nickname to describe Firefighters before Air Packs were used for air while fighting fires. Smoke Eaters had no clean air source and would enter a fire to search for people which would end up with the Firemen (Firefighters) inhaling the smoke from the fire. The seasoned Firemen (Firefighters) would make this task look easy thus earning the title Smoke Eater. The seasoned Smoke Eater would often sport a large mustache or beard and use it to filter some of the smoke as they made the ‘push’ towards the flames. The days of the leather lunged Smoke eater and all that he stood for are radically changed. The tradition itself, however, is being carried on by a large number of firefighters, who see the fire service and its culture as a central part of their lives. But they serve with an educated awareness of how much more quickly technology and the role of the fire service can and will change.


This picture captured by Michael Dick, I think sums up everything it is to be a firefighter and Smoke Eater, basically a push towards the unknown, dark, very hot, very noisy, and very dangerous. But for those of us that chose this life, we love it. Check out more of Michael Dick's amazing work at A stunning collection of photographs capturing the FDNY at work in 70's and 80's.

Where the spark began, Karl's father Julian on scene of an MVA circa 1990's