2007 Warwickshire warehouse fire
Four firefighters from the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service were killed whilst tackling the blaze. This was the largest loss of life for a fire brigade in the United Kingdom for 35 years.
Four of the approximate 100 firefighters from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service who were mobilised to the scene were reported missing that night after they went in to tackle the fire. One, Ian Reid, was rescued but died later in hospital. Due to the debris and the instability of the building the bodies of John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley were not recovered until 6 November.
On 6 May 2011, the three officers appeared at the Leamington Justice Centre to face the charges. Warwickshire County Council also faced a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act of failing to ensure the safety of its employees. They were all granted unconditional bail. It was agreed both cases would be dealt with in the Crown Court.
On 18 April 2012, the three fire officers, Timothy Woodward, Adrian Ashley and Paul Simmons, appeared in court charged with manslaughter by gross negligence. The trial started at Stafford Crown Court on 20 April 2012; on 21 May the judge directed that Simmons be acquitted and on 30 May the jury returned a verdict of not guilty against Woodward and Ashley.
Warwickshire County Council was fined £30,000 in December 2012.
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