Fire chief acquital

ITV Central's Mark Gough reports from Stafford Crown Court where Paul Simmons, one of three senior fire fighters in charge of the operation to fight a blaze in Atherstone in Warwickshire in 2007.

A huge vegetable packing warehouse was on fire and four firefighters died in the blaze. They were breathing apparatus crew who wen into the warehouse. Mr Simmons and two other fire chiefs were charged with negligence by gross manslaughter.

Today, the judge directed the jury to find Mr Simmons not guilty. He said Mr Simmons handed over control before the order was given to send the four men in.

The two other senior fire officers are still on trial. They deny the charges.

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Atherstone on Stour Fire

Two senior firefighters have been found not guilty in the trial into the death of four fire fighters, Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, John Averis and Ian Reid, who died at a warehouse blaze in 2007 in Atherstone on Stour.