No charges over Southampton tower block fire

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NO-ONE will be prosecuted over a tower block blaze which killed two Hampshire firefighters, police have said.

James Shears, 35, and Alan Bannon, 38, died tackling the fire at 15-storey Shirley Towers in Southampton on April 6 last year.

A criminal investigation into the fire by Hampshire Constabulary has concluded and no charges will be brought. The findings are being passed to the coroner to form part of the inquest.

The Health and Safety Executive and the fire service are both carrying out investigations, and the Fire Brigades Union is also conducting an inquiry. The blaze which killed the two men started in the ninth floor of the tower block in Church Street after a curtain left draped over a light bulb caught fire.

A post-mortem showed Mr Shears, of Poole, Dorset, and Mr Bannon, of Bitterne, Southampton, died of exposure to excessive heat. All residents in the flats were rescued.