Blaina fire station which lost two fire fighters in devastating 1990s blaze could close
8:02am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
BACKING STATION: Margaret Griffin from Blaina whose husband was a firefighter who died in a fire in 1996
A FIRE station which lost two firefighters in a devastating blaze in the 1990s could close under money-saving proposals.
Staffed by 14 part-time fire fighters, Blaina fire station was yesterday named by Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway in a full Torfaen council meeting as being under threat of closure as part of the brigade’s Fire Cover review, which is yet to go to consultation.
The news comes as fire fighters across the country are taking part in industrial action today between 12noon and 4pm.
Two Blaina fire fighters, 32-year-old Kevin Lane and 42-year-old Stephen Griffin, died in a house fire on Zephaniah Way in the town on February 1, 1996, trying to save three-year-old Joshua Harford who they mistakenly believed was inside the house.
Joshua’s five-year-old brother Daniel died in the blaze.
For their bravery, Blaina fire fighters were given medals and the Freedom of Blaenau Gwent.
An online petition to save Blaina fire station has already been signed by more than 800 people.
Margaret Griffin, whose husband Stephen died in the 1996 fire, said the training fire fighters across the UK received as a result of her husband’s death had saved a lot of lives.
“I had to lose my soul mate and my husband, but lives can be saved after what happened,” said Mrs Griffin, 59, whose children Tina, 34, and Andrew, 38, are also backing the firefighters.“They put their lives down to save others. After the fire the community was with us all the way, I can’t thank them enough. (The fire station) is like a monument because there’s nothing else around.
“It shouldn’t be shut, it’s about public safety and it needs the public to get behind it,” she added. “They have taken everything from Blaina but the fire station is part of Blaina One man - who wished to remain anonymous - told the Argus that because the fire station was built with asbestos, the fire fighters had anticipated a £500,000 rebuild, with the new station being shared with firefighters from Brynmawr, but found out on Monday it was earmarked for closure.
He said: “Depending on the time of day, (closure) could have an impact on anyone in Blaenau Gwent.”
A anyone affected by today’s industrial action can call 01443 232181. The fire control room will operate as normal and will still answer emergency 999 calls.
The Argus contacted South Wales Fire and Rescue Service for comment on the Fire Cover review but did not receive a repsonse.
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