THE deaths of four firefighters in Atherstone-on Stour six years ago were caused by a "catalogue of organisational systemic failings" by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue service, according to a report by the Fire Brigades Union.

The bodies of John Averis, aged 27, Ashley Stephens, 20 and Darren Yates-Badley, 24, were recovered from a vegetable packing plant blaze in Atherstone-on-Stour on November 2, 2007. A fourth firefighter, Ian Reid, 44, died later in hospital.

The fatal accident investigation report summary, released today, highlighted severe problems with, the assessment of risk and planning around it, the quality of information available to the incident commander, the use of breathing apparatus and training, particularly for retained or part-time firefighters.

The union is also working with health and safety specialists from the University of Stirling to review firefighter safety and fatal incidents. The review will report later this year.

In January 2012 Warwickshire County Council entered a guilty plea at a hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court  for failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees, and was subsequently fined £30,000.

A copy of the report can be found at