When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Firefighters 'could have been reached earlier'
11:11am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in News
FIREFIGHTERS battling to rescue two stricken colleagues could potentially have reached them more than 30 minutes earlier if different techniques had been used to put out the fire, an inquest heard.
A fire investigator called in to study the Shirley Towers blaze said it could have been put out within five minutes if a water jet had been sprayed straight at the flames before they fully engulfed the lounge and kitchen of Flat 72.
But London-based Richard Hunt said there appeared to be no way that would have happened on the night Alan Bannon, 38, from Bitterne and Jim Shears, 35, from Poole died, because Hampshire firefighters had been trained to use a different method to beat back the fire.
Questioned by Fire Brigades' Union barrister Martin Seaward, representing the families, Mr Hunt said the pulse spraying technique used by firefighters worried about creating dangerous steam was not the best way to deal with the fire.
He said theoretically, had a solid jet been used, most of the smoke, heat and gas would have disappeared out of the broken lounge window of the ninth-floor flat, pictured.
But crews on the night continued pulsing - putting short bursts of water into the air to cool hot gases – until an emergency was declared over their colleagues at 9.08pm.
The inquest continues.