Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Bradford City fire: was it arson?

More than 30 years since the Bradford City fire in which 56 football fans died, a dramatic new development. West Yorkshire Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over its investigation into the blaze.

This follows a meeting with Martin Fletcher, whose father, brother, uncle and grandfather, all died at Valley Parade on 11 May 1985. In his recent book, Fifty-Six: The Story of the Bradford Fire, he claimed the fire was one of nine that had happened at businesses linked with the club’s then chairman, Stafford Heginbotham.

The official inquiry had concluded the blaze was caused by a discarded cigarette setting fire to rubbish that had accumulated over years under an old timber stand. The structure was engulfed in minutes, and because doors at the back were locked, many spectators could not escape.

The police say Mr Fletcher’s book has raised ‘serious issues’, and that it is important that they are addressed.

For more on the fire, see A Disastrous History of Britain.

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