Three U.K. fire officers charged with manslaughter in LODD’s

In the United Kingdom three fire officers have been charged with manslaughter in the line of duty deaths of four firefighters in a structure fire. Firefighters Ian Reid, John Averis, Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley died while fighting a fire in a vegetable packing warehouse in 2007.

The 2002 Cantwell-Hastings bill has resulted in witch hunts, criminal charges, attorney fees, and jail time for wildland firefighters who make mistakes on the fireline.

The most infamous example was the 2001 Thirtymile fire, after which Ellreese Daniels was charged with 11 felonies related to the deaths of four firefighters who were on his hand crew. He was facing the possibility of decades in prison, but the Assistant U. S. Attorney, perhaps realizing he did not have a winnable case, allowed Daniels to plead guilty to two misdemeanors of making a false statement in an Administrative hearing. Seven years after the fire, he was sentenced to three months of incarceration in a work-release program and three years of probation.

One of the morals of these stories is, if you make decisions on fires, you need professional liability insurance.

(Note: this is the 35th time Wildfire Today has referenced the Thirtymile fire in articles.)


Thanks Dick

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.