A MEMORIAL ceremony is taking place today at St Mary’s Church in Warwick to mark the ten year anniversary of the deaths of four firefighters in the Atherstone-on-Stour warehouse blaze.
Ashley Stephens, 20, Darren Yates-Badley, 24, John Averis, 27, and Ian Reid, 44, lost their lives when tackling the massive fire on November 2, 2007.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will mark the event with the families of those who lost their lives, firefighters from across the county and the UK and dignitaries from Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and The Cheshire Fire Service Choir who will be singing The Rising by Bruce Springsteen.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Andy Hickmott said: “The memorial service will provide us with an opportunity to stop and reflect on the lives of those we lost on November 2, 2007. I hope the event will bring comfort to all who attend. Although gone, they will never be forgotten and will forever hold an honoured place in the hearts of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and the fire service community nationally.”
Warwickshire County Council community protection spokesman Howard Roberts said: “Marking the ten year anniversary in this way is a fitting tribute to the four brave firefighters, Ashley, Darren, John and Ian who lost their lives serving the community they loved.
“The strong values and traditions of the fire and rescue service will certainly be evident in the service as will be the respect for those who lost their lives. It will be an honour to attend the service.”
The ceremony will begin with the standard bearers ceremonial salute, swiftly followed with the fire service bell which was tolled four times. The ceremony will close with the sound of the last post, followed by a minute’s silence and a blessing by the Fire Service Chaplain.
Flags at each fire station across the county are being flown at half-mast.