Firefighter dies in 'suspicious' blaze
from the BBC
Fire investigators are examining the building.
A firefighter has died and two others have been injured after being engulfed in a fireball in an explosion at a burning building in Cardiff.
Arson has not yet been ruled out, and police said they were treating the investigation as seriously as a murder inquiry.
The fire has been described as "suspicious", and a joint investigation is being carried out by the police, fire service, and the Health and Safety Executive.
A compressed gas cylinder found inside the building may have caused the explosion, but the exact cause of the fire remains unconfirmed.
Richard John Jenkins, 29, was married with two young children and lived in Bridgend. He had been a fire-fighter for nine years and had recently moved to the Barry station, where he was a member of the White Watch team.
He leaves a wife, Kathy, and a son aged nine and daughter aged six.
Relatives and friends have visited the scene of the tragedy and have left floral tributes.
Emergency services were called to a fire at a disused bingo hall and community centre on Bishopston Road in the Ely area of the city at 0110 BST.
Crews were sent from Ely and Barry to tackle the blaze, and were on the scene within minutes.
Mr Jenkins went in with a hose and, within seconds, there was an explosion and a fireball engulfed him.
His two colleagues were also caught up in the flames and were badly burned. Despite their own injuries, they still went inside to rescue their colleague.
The two men fought to resuscitate him, but he was found to be dead on arrival at hospital.
The other two officers - one who lives in Ely and one from Barry - were released from hospital after treatment.
Investigations are continuing, but fire officers are exploring views that the fire may have been started deliberately.
"The fire is being treated as suspicious by the police and we are working closely with teams of crime officers, forensics and the Health and Safety Executive so we can fully understand what has happened," said Andy Marles, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Colleagues of Mr Jenkins have been left shattered by the tragedy.
"All of us are absolutely devastated," said Divisional Officer Mick Flanagan, who is head of fire investigation.
"I deal with a lot of fatal fires, and they are always sad, but when you attend a fire and the fatality is one of your own, it's unbelievably painful," he explained.
The area around the burned-out building - which had been empty for about a year - has been sealed off so that the structure can be made safe and scene of the fire can be examined.
Detective Chief Inspector Brent Parry said 30 detectives were interviewing in the area.
"We are treating it on the same level as a murder inquiry," he said.
"We are trying to ascertain any events which led up to the incident. Officers are working on house-to-house inquiries and speaking to witnesses in the area."
Residents living nearby have told police that gangs of youths often gathered around the site.
Haydn Harries, who lives nearby said he was woken by the blaze.
"I could hear this crackling and banging as if someone was letting off fireworks in the street," he said.
"I came out to have a look and the old community hall, which is all wood, was on fire.
"It was a shock to hear there was a fireman caught in that explosion."
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Thread: UK FF dies in explosion
05-23-2004, 12:52 PM #1
UK FF dies in explosion
05-23-2004, 12:55 PM #2
On behalf of the North Charleston Fire Department I extend my condolences to family and friend of FF Richard Jenkins. God Bless you my brother...
05-23-2004, 12:58 PM #3
Thank you for posting this...I just posted it in the LODD section of the Forum.
Richard Jenkins was a London Firefighter based at A23 Euston in Central London from 1995 until he transferred to South Wales Fire & Rescue Service in 2002 to be nearer his young family.
Rest in Peace Brother.Steve Dude
London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"
'Irony'... It's a British thing.
05-23-2004, 03:06 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
Rest in Peace Richard. I hope that your mates find out what happened, and are able to catch those responsible. Prayers and warm thoughts to his wife and children for their loss.If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)
"I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD
"Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)
Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!
impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto
IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.
05-23-2004, 10:25 PM #5
05-24-2004, 12:41 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
Our prayers from New York to the family of FF Jenkins.
05-24-2004, 12:35 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
- Sitting on my Laa Laa waiting for my Yaa Yaa
Rest in peace, Brother Jenkins.Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1
These statements are mine and mine alone
I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it
05-24-2004, 02:52 PM #8
It doesn't matter what city,state,or country, a loss in the fire service is a loss to our firefighting family.
05-24-2004, 05:18 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
- Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA
Rest in peace.My thoughts are with his family.
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