Harrow Court: Pledge to learn the lessons

HERTFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service s chief fire officer said he will work tirelessly to make sure firefighters Jeff Wornham and Michael Miller did not sacrifice their lives in vain. Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said after the inquest: Everyone invol

HERTFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service's chief fire officer said he will work tirelessly to make sure firefighters Jeff Wornham and Michael Miller did not sacrifice their lives in vain.

Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said after the inquest: "Everyone involved in the inquest has been deeply affected by reliving the events of two years ago.

"Three people died in the fire that night and the fire service lost two brave colleagues. We can only imagine the pain and sense of loss experienced by the families and friends of Michael Miller, Jeff Wornham and Natalie Close.

"We will never forget the events of February 2, 2005, and the fact that Jeff and Michael saved one life and then tragically lost their own whilst trying to save another.


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"There are undoubtedly lessons to be learned from what happened and I will work tirelessly to ensure that the loss of those young lives was not in vain.

"Michael and Jeff were the first firefighters to die in Hertfordshire for 30 years and this fire was a sharp reminder that firefighters can face extreme danger in their work.

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"The tragic consequences of that night do not, however, detract in any way from the courage of all the crews that night and I am proud of every one of them."

Mr Wilsher added: "Following the events of February 2, 2005, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out a thorough and open investigation.

"That investigation resulted in 94 recommendations that will be given to the coroner. But the service has not been idle in the last two years and we are, and have been, working on every one of those recommendations and they will be made public.

""The inquest generated other lessons learned, perhaps most importantly is the hidden danger of tea lights. The service has already called for better warnings, education and design to improve tea light safety and will continue to do so.

"Also, and sadly, these events provide a reminder of the need to ensure smoke detectors are working.

"This has been a very emotional time for everyone involved. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has not flinched from looking at every aspect of what happened that night and I promise we will be equally thorough in learning the lessons to ensure that the people of Hertfordshire continue to have the best possible fire service.

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