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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation

 

 

Monday, 5 November 2007, 17:59 GMT
Minute's silence for missing men


Firefighters in Cheshire and Merseyside have held a minute's silence to remember one fireman killed and three missing after a warehouse fire.

Fire stations in the two counties held the minute memorial and lowered their flags to half mast at 1200 GMT.

The dead and missing firemen went into the building to rescue migrant workers who may have been sleeping inside the vegetable warehouse on Friday.

To assist in the search five Cheshire firefighters have gone to Warwickshire.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missing firefighters involved in this terrible tragedy
Steve McGuirk, chief fire officer for Cheshire Fire and Rescue

The team, which includes Mark Coleman, station manager from Warrington who specialises in disaster assistance, are expected to help at the scene of the blaze until Thursday.

Cheshire's fire chief Steve McGuirk paid tribute to the 'commitment and courage' of the firefighters who tackled the fire.

He added: "I hope that our search and rescue team will be a great support to Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and hope that the firefighters who are missing can be found as soon as possible.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missing firefighters involved in this terrible tragedy."

The Warwickshire fire is believed to have been started deliberately. Mr McGuirk, also president of the Chief Fire Officer's Association, said: "There's no such thing as a typical incident and this fire in Warwickshire serves to illustrate that point all too tragically well.

"We often talk about the kinship or cameraderie of the fire service and that is absolutely true and it can be felt deeply within the service."