A flat fire in the Shirley area of Southampton has killed two firefighters. The blaze broke out on Tuesday 6th in flat 72, on the seventh floor, after 8pm.
It is unclear how the two firefighters, named this morning as James Shears, 35, and Alan Bannon, 38 of the Red Watch at St Mary’s fire station in Southampton, were killed, but an investigation has been started. Together the two officers had served for 15years as full time officers in the force.
Luckily, all the residents were evacuated from the 15-storey Shirley towers. However, two further firefighters were taken to hospital with burns to their arms and three others were also admitted. No further details have been released as to the welfare or identity of these individuals.
Chief fire officer John Bonney told a press conference: “We are devastated by the loss of our colleagues who died in the line of duty.
“Our thoughts are with their families, with their friends and their colleagues who have all been stunned by these events.
“I would like to pay tribute to the courage, dedication and service of those firefighters.
“This tragic incident is another tragic reminder of the danger that emergency services put themselves in day in, day out to ensure the safety of the public.”
The cause of the fire is unknown and Mr Bonney said that it was ‘ not appropriate to speculate’ about the circumstances. 20 fire engines were called to the scene and roads around the tower black were also cordoned off.
Resident Sammy Judd said: “I looked out the window and saw all the smoke and I grabbed my [three-year-old] daughter and told my friend we had to get out.
“Next thing we know, there’s smoke pouring into our flat.”