Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

North Wales fireman dies after falling on snow

Gareth Wyn Rees was a part-time firefighter in Harlech
Gareth Wyn Rees was married with two sons

A firefighter has died suddenly after falling on snow on the way home following a drill at a fire station.

Gareth Wyn Rees, 50, was a part-time fireman with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service in Harlech, Gwynedd.

A post-mortem examination was being carried out on Wednesday but the death is not being treated as suspicious.

Mr Rees, who worked as a fitter at Trawsfynydd power station, was with a fire service colleague when he slipped and hit his head on Tuesday night.

An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned.

Mr Rees leaves a wife, Marian and two sons, Sion and Iwan.

Friends and colleagues said they were shocked to hear the news, adding Mr Rees would be sadly missed.

We live in a close knit community in Harlech and he was well regarded by all
Iwan Rees, son

His son Iwan Rees, 23, said: "We are obviously devastated at what has happened. We live in a close knit community in Harlech and he was well regarded by all.

"Our family politely requests that our privacy is respected at this difficult time but we would especially like to thank everyone for their kind messages of sympathy."

North Wales Fire Service's chief fire officer Simon Smith said: "It is with great sadness that I informed staff of Gareth's death this morning.

"This is the second death we have experienced this week, following the death of a Mold firefighter early in the new year.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with Gareth's family and colleagues at this very sad time."

Mr Rees had joined the former Gwynedd Fire Service in 1988 and his brother Emyr had also served as a part-time firefighter at Harlech before retiring.

His funeral is expected to take place next week.

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