Birmingham & Black Country

Fire crews train in burning Solihull tower

Girton Tower
Image caption Girton Tower will eventually be demolished

Firefighters in the West Midlands have begun training in a 15-storey tower block which can be set alight.

Girton Tower in Smith's Wood, Solihull, was donated to the service by Solihull Community Housing.

The facility means crews can practise dealing with high-rise fires in live rather than simulated conditions, West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) said.

Fire services are reviewing how they handle tall building fires after the deaths of two firemen in Southampton.

Jim Shears and Alan Bannon died in April 2010 after a "massive escalation" in the fire at Shirley Towers where temperatures reached hundreds of degrees, an inquest into their deaths heard.

Girton Tower will be demolished after sections have been used for firefighter training.

Solihull station commander Pete Drummond said: "We do not have a similar high-rise training resource anywhere in the West Midlands, so this really is fantastic."

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