Firefighters Death Blaze Probe Costs £4.5m

Mon 25 Oct, 2010
Selkirk Weekend Advertiser | Monday 25 October 2010

A criminal investigation into a Warwickshire warehouse fire in which four firefighters lost their lives has so far cost £4.5 million, police have said.

The inquiry, launched following the blaze in Atherstone-on-Stour in November 2007, has seen a total of 12 people arrested on suspicion of offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

All have been bailed until next year pending further inquiries into the fire at a vegetable packing facility.

In a statement confirming the current cost, Warwickshire Police said it was now confident it was in the final stage of the joint inquiry with the Health and Safety Executive.

Detective Superintendent Ken Lawrence, leading the investigation, said: "I am conscious that as we approach the third anniversary of the fire people are asking why it is taking so long.

"This is the largest and most complex investigation ever undertaken by Warwickshire Police and I have always said that we would give it all the time it needed in order to establish the truth and establish exactly what happened.

"Twelve people have been arrested this year and have just had their bail extended in order for the CPS to consider all the evidence.

"There are still active lines of inquiry being pursued as to how the fire started and it is anticipated that this aspect will also be concluded in the near future."

Mr Lawrence added: "There is clearly a lot of information to consider and we would expect the CPS to take time to consider this carefully in order to reach a fair and proportionate decision."