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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Errors revealed in fire report
The two firefighters who died
Michael Miller (left) and Jeff Wornham died while tackling a fire
A report into the deaths of two firefighters, who died trying to rescue a woman from a block of flats in has revealed a catalogue of errors.

Jeff Wornham, 28, of Royston, Herts, and Michael Miller, 26, of Stevenage, died in the fire at Harrow Court, Stevenage, on 2 February 2005.

The Herts Fire Service's internal report reveals a widespread failure to follow procedures, the BBC has learnt.

The report may be made public at the inquest into the deaths.

The firefighters were called to the fire at the 14th-floor flat at about 0300 GMT.

Harrow Court, in Silam Road, Stevenage, Herts
The fire began on the 14th floor of Harrow Court in Stevenage

They kicked down a door and rescued Nicholas Savage.

After he was led to safety, they returned to try and rescue mother-of-two Natalie Close, 32, but the fire suddenly escalated and all three were killed.

The report says the two firefighters did not have water to tackle the fire because the outlet for the water at the flats had been chained shut due to vandalism.

Stevenage Borough Council had informed the fire service, but somehow the first fire engine to arrive had not brought bolt cutters.

The report says that a risk assessment was not carried out before the fire officers went into the flats.

Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said he would not want to comment on the report until the inquest.

Jeff Wornham's coffin
Jeff Wornham was described as a genuine and uncomplicated man

But he added: "We will be paying particular attention to reviewing our operating procedures for preparing, attending and dealing with incidents to ensure that a safe system of work is always introduced and maintained throughout an incident.

"The tragic deaths of Michael Miller, Jeff Wornham, and Natalie Close, were a tremendous shock to the service, and devastating for their families, who have our deepest sympathy.

"Michael and Jeff were the first firefighters to die in a fire in Hertfordshire in 30 years and we owe it to their memory to ensure that we do everything possible to prevent a similar tragedy."

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