A JURY returned a verdict of death by misadventure in the inquest of two Hampshire firefighters who died tackling a blaze in a high-rise block of flats.
Alan Bannon, 38, and James Shears, 35, were killed as they battled to control the fire on the ninth floor of the 15-storey building Shirley Towers, in Southampton, on April 6, 2010.
Paul Trew, the secretary of the Hampshire Fire Brigades Union, said the union was satisfied with the verdict and that the tragedy had ‘touched and affected’ all members of the fire service.
He said: ‘Though the inquest is now concluded, both families will continue to receive full support from the FBU.
‘It is hoped that the recommendations from this inquest are implemented at the earliest opportunity.
‘This is the first loss of a firefighter’s life at an operational incident within Hampshire since the Second World War. We sincerely hope it will be the last.
‘This tragedy has touched and affected all members of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
‘Since their deaths, the FBU have supported Alan and Jim’s families.
‘Both firefighters were valued members of the Fire Brigades Union, and are still sorely missed by their colleagues.’