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How the disaster unfolded

Published: 22 April 2002

Updated: 19 November 2014

Friday: 20:41

Leicestershire Fire Brigade receives a phone call from the Hinckley area saying there’s flames licking out of the top of Triumph’s factory in Jacknell Road.

Friday: 20:46

Two engines arrive from nearby Hinckley Fire Station. The crew commander carries out a risk assessment and immediately radios for assistance from other crews as smoke billows from the roof.

Friday: 20:50

A third fire engine from Hinckley, carrying another six firefighters, arrives. But the fire is raging out of control.

Friday: 21:09

A fourth engine arrives from Leicester, taking the number of firefighters battling the blaze to 24.

Saturday 00:00

A large part of the roof on the single-storey factory, which is 60 metres x 50 metres, is now ablaze. The incident’s commander, Divisional Officer John Freeman, radios for even more help.

Saturday: 01:45

At the peak of the blaze, 20 fire engines pump water to douse the flames. Crews have now arrived from Leicester and neighbouring Warwickshire. There are also two engines with hydraulic ladders to let firefighters attack the burning roof. There is another foam-pumping unit on standby in case the fire spreads to areas where there’s flammable liquid. A communication unit and a command engine takes the total up to 25 engines. Around 120 firefighters are on now on duty at the scene.

Saturday: 01:45

After five hours crews finally declare the fire under control. Several engines stay

on to damp the embers down.

Saturday: 10:00

Two engines are present all morning, continually pumping water on to the smouldering debris. Triumph boss John Bloor turns up to witness the scene, but no-one is allowed to enter the factory.

Monday: 11:00

More than 48 hours after the fire started, two engines are still in attendance. As workers prepare for a day at home, investigators begin the difficult task of finding out how it happened.

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