VIDEO: Coroner rules there will be no inquest into death of four firefighters killed in Atherstone-on-Stour blaze

A coroner has ruled that there will be no inquest into the deaths of four Warwickshire firefighters who died in a huge warehouse blaze in 2007.

Firefighters Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, John Averis and Ian Reid all died in November 2007 tackling a fire at a vegetable packing plant in Atherstone-on-Stour.

Three senior firefighters were charged with manslaughter by gross negligence but were all acquitted at trial.

On Friday morning at the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa, Coroner Sean McGovern addressed the family members of the firefighters.

Mr McGovern said: “On November 20 2007 I opened the inquests into the death of four firefighters who died fighting a blaze in Atherstone-on-Stour on November 2 2007.”

Mr McGovern said that when criminal charges were brought against the three senior firefighters and Warwickshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, he suspended the four inquests - required by law.

Mr McGovern said he was satisfied that he didn’t need to resume the four inquests because all the evidence had already been heard at the trial.

He added: “I offer my condolences. I’m aware of the devastation that this has caused then and now and will continue to cause.

“My decision is not a reflection on those four brave men.”

Speaking after the hearing Ian Reid’s widow, Julie, said the decision was ‘extremely disappointing’.

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