Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 11:46 UK

Father arrested over Warwickshire firefighter deaths

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Stephens, Darren Yates-Badley, Ian Reid, John Averis
Four firefighters died in the warehouse blaze

The father of one of four firefighters killed in a fire at a warehouse in 2007 was one of six men recently arrested in connection with the deaths.

Paul Stephens, 54, was questioned along with two others last Wednesday. Three other men were arrested in February.

Mr Stephen's son Ashley died alongside Darren Yates-Badley, John Averis and Ian Reid, in the fire Atherstone-on-Stour, Warwickshire.

Mr Stephens' wife Sharon confirmed her husband had been arrested and bailed.

The men were all arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter and offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act and have since been released on police bail.

'Against force policy'

Mrs Stephens said her husband, a retired firefighter, had been working on the night of the fire at a vegetable packing plant in November 2007.

"He went to work that night and lost his son," she said.

"This is a terrible, terrible tragedy."

Three men, aged 42, 52 and 54 and all from south Warwickshire, were arrested on 24 March, police said.

A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said they would not confirm the identity of any of the men arrested.

"We cannot confirm the identity of anyone who has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the fatal fire at Atherstone-on-Stour," he said.

"This would be against force policy and not in the interest of the investigation or the individuals concerned."

Three fire service staff, aged 43, 48 and 49, were arrested on 24 February.

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