Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford fireworks factory blaze: Man charged over deaths

The factory fire Image copyright Jodiphotography
Image caption SP Plastics in Baswich, Stafford, was destroyed on 30 October 2014

The owner of a fireworks factory that was destroyed in a fatal fire has been charged with two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Richard Pearson, 43, owned SP Plastics in Baswich, Stafford, which caught fire on 30 October 2014

Simon Hillier, 41, and Stewart Staples, 57, died in the blaze.

Mr Pearson, from Stafford, will appear at Cannock Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

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Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Stewart Staples (L) and Simon Hillier (R) died in the fire

Mr Hillier, from Hednesford, was an employee at the factory and Mr Staples, also from Hednesford, was a customer.

At its height, more than 50 firefighters were tackling the blaze, which broke out at about 17:00 BST and burned for hours.

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