Call for justice for fire crews is delayed by legal action

Marlie Farm fireworks blaze aftermath
Marlie Farm fireworks blaze aftermath

A campaign has been launched for justice for two firefighters killed while tackling a blaze at Marlie Farm fireworks factory in Shortgate in 2006.

The Fire Brigades Union organised a petition calling for compensation to be paid to the families of Brian Wembridge, from Heathfield and Geoff Wicker, from Crowborough, after the High Court found fault with with their employer - East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service - last year.

But a spokesperson for the service said in January the High Court gave permission for an appeal by the Fire Authority’s insurers Zurich against the previous ruling.

She said: “This matter is in the hands of the legal teams for the insurers Zurich and the claimants.”

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Geoff and Brian dedicated their lives to the fire service and their families and our seriously injured members deserve much better.

“I implore the public to get behind the campaign in order to get justice for Geoff and Brian.”

Geoff Wicker, a retained firefighter, was among the first emergency service crews to arrive at the fire on December 3, 2006.

The blast, at the site between Ringmer and Halland, sent debris and fireworks across the area.

To sign the petition at: