Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire firefighters remembered with silence

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, Ian Reid, John Averis
Image caption Three of the men died in the building, while the fourth died in hospital

Warwickshire firefighters have observed a two-minute silence to mark the fourth anniversary of a fire that claimed the lives of four colleagues.

Ian Reid, John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley died as a result of the blaze at a warehouse in Atherstone-on-Stour on 2 November 2007.

Crews marked the silence at 19:28 GMT to coincide with the time the men's air tanks would have run out.

County chief fire officer Graeme Smith had said flags would be at half mast.

He added: "Our thoughts will be with the families of the firefighters who lost their lives in this tragic incident and the firefighters who serve with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service as two minutes silence is held at fire stations throughout the county."

Paul Simmons, Adrian Ashley and Timothy Woodward, from the fire service, have been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence in connection with the deaths.

The firefighters appeared at Leamington Spa Justice Centre earlier this year and have not yet entered a plea.

Warwickshire County Council is also charged with failing to ensure safety at work.

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