The Sun 13/05/85: Mum Loses Her Three Men

As the days passed after the fire, reporters began to investigate more about the Club being warned that the main stand at Sun CoverValley parade was a fire risk. This news report by The Sun covers the Bradford City fire and what happened as well as examining the warnings the club received months before May 11th.

You can find the PDF of the articles from The Sun attached below, here is an excerpt for you:

City were alerted to blaze danger months ago

A top safety expert and fire chief agreed last night: The Bradford City stand was a death trap.

Mr James Tye, director-general of the British Safety Council said: “If they had tried to design the perfect fire trap they could have hardly done better than that stand.”

And Bradford fire chief Graham Karran revealed that he had warned the club seven months ago that the 79-year-old stand was a fire risk. But he said he was helpless to order safety improvements and added “There was nothing I could do to make the club listen.”

Fire chief Mr Karran said the club had been advised to clear up litter under the stand after he made a goodwill visit. He added” “They were going to make changes – but were not required to do so by law until they got promoted.” Present ground safety regulations only apply to clubs in the First and Second Divisions.

Last night Bradford City chairman Stafford Heginbotham, 51, furiously denied that the club had been warned the stand was a fire trap. But he said: “In all truth I am ashamed of the ground. In a nutshell it is a shit pit.”

Safety expert Mr Tye added: “You had all the ingredients there for horror – rubbish accumulated under the stand, a floor of old dry timber, polypropylene seats and a timber roof covered in bitumen. All that was missing was a wire fence to make sure no one could get out.”

Mr Tye said that he was compiling a report for the Home Office and would emphasise that none of the 92 League grounds was safe.

One angry survivor supported the claim that litter under the stand fuelled the killer blaze. Life-long Bradford City fan Peter Halroyd, 41, said: “If you looked through the holes in the floorboards you could see loads of litter built up over the years.”

The stand was due to be torn down today as part of a £2million facelift at the ground.

To read the full The Sun report from 13/05/85 please click this link: The Sun Newspaper 13-05-85_sml

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