Injured firefighter sues after Sussex fireworks blast

Image caption, Geoff Wicker (L) and Brian Wembridge died in the explosion

A retained firefighter who was injured in a fire at a fireworks factory in which two of his colleagues died is suing East Sussex fire service.

Timothy Austin, from Barcombe fire station, is also seeking damages from factory owners Alpha Fireworks.

Firemen Geoff Wicker, 49, and Brian Wembridge, 63, were killed in the fire at Marlie Farm in Shortgate, near Lewes, East Sussex, in December 2006.

The factory owners were last year jailed for their manslaughter.

Health and safety

Martin Winter, 52, owner of Festival Fireworks UK Ltd, since renamed Alpha Fireworks Ltd, was jailed for seven years at Lewes Crown Court.

His son Nathan, 25, was jailed for five years. Both men had denied the charges.

Following the trial, the company was fined £30,000 after being found guilty of two counts of breaching health and safety legislation.

Commenting on the the legal action by Mr Austin, deputy chief fire officer Gary Walsh said: "East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is aware of the legal proceedings involving Timothy Austin.

"However, at this stage, we are unable to discuss this matter further until the conclusion of the legal action."

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