Firefighters pay anniversary tribute to fallen comrades

TRIBUTE Cosham watch manager Tim Pringle leads the firefighters of White Watch in a two-minute silence for firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears.    Picture: Malcolm Wells  (0000-9688)
TRIBUTE Cosham watch manager Tim Pringle leads the firefighters of White Watch in a two-minute silence for firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears. Picture: Malcolm Wells (0000-9688)
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Firefighters observed a two-minute silence in memory of two colleagues who died while tackling a blaze a year ago today.

Crew members from White Watch at Cosham Fire Station were among firefighters across Hampshire who paid their respects to Jim Shears, 35, and Alan Bannon, 38.

The two firefighters from Red Watch at St Mary’s station at Southampton died while fighting a fire that broke out on the seventh floor of 15-storey Shirley Towers on April 6 last year. All residents were rescued from the blaze but Mr Shears, from Poole in Dorset, died later in hospital. Mr Bannon of Bitterne, Southampton, died at the scene.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service flags are flying at half-mast across the county today. A memorial service was also being held at fire service headquarters in Eastleigh today.