Plaque to honour firefighters

By Connie Osborne Thursday 17 April 2014 Updated: 18/04 08:16

A PLAQUE will be installed at Alcester Fire Station to commemorate the firefighters who lost their lives in the Atherstone warehouse blaze.

The tribute will be unveiled at the Seggs Lane station on Wednesday (April 23) in a private ceremony to remember the two Alcester firefighters Ashley Stephens, 20, and Darren Yates-Badley, 24, who died at the scene of the vegetable packing plant fire in November 2007.

Colleague John Averis, 27, who also lost his life at the scene and Ian Reid, 44, who passed away later in hospital, will also be honoured by the memorial.

The idea came from Ashley Stephen’s father and Andy Hickmott, chief fire officer for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Up to 100 firefighters, from Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcester and the West Midlands, along with five ambulance crews were all sent to the blaze at the site owned by Wealmoor Atherstone Ltd on November 2, 2007.

It was the largest loss of life for a fire brigade within the UK for 35 years.

In May 2012, three commanding officers were acquitted of manslaughter charges, while Warwickshire County Council, responsible for the fire service, was fined £30,000 after pleading guilty to failing to ensure adequate health and safety at work.

A plaque was also unveiled at Stratford-upon-Avon Fire Station on Tuesday.

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