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Councillors pay touching tributes to West Midlands chief fire officer Wayne Brown

Touching tributes have been paid by Birmingham’s councillors to “respected and admired” chief fire officer Wayne Brown following his death last month.

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West Midlands Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown.

The 54-year old was found dead at his home in January, with West Midlands Fire Service saying at the time that his death was not being treated as suspicious by police.

An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned until June 25 on Monday.

Shortly before his death was announced, the fire service said it was aware of “claims” referencing Mr Brown and added that “formal enquiries and processes” were ongoing in “relation to the matters raised.”

Mr Brown’s death sent shockwaves across the West Midlands region and sparked emotional tributes at Tuesday’s Meeting of Birmingham City Council.

“This has been a tragedy of large proportions,” councillor Sybil Spence told the meeting.”We have lost a hugely talented, exceptional and outstanding human being.

“He was respected and admired by the members of the West Midlands fire authority.

“His achievement will live on as a lasting testament to who he was,” she added.

John Cotton, leader of Birmingham City Council, also paid tribute, saying: “Everyone in Birmingham, and in the wider region, who met Wayne, knew Wayne or worked with Wayne were very shocked and saddened by the news of his passing.

“Wayne was a good man – a dedicated public servant and a role model to many.

“To get some idea of just how loved and respected he was, and just how much he will be missed, I would advise members to go and take at the West Midlands Fire Service’s online book of condolence.

“Tribute after tribute shows he was an inspiration to many,” he continued.

“He was a mentor and an incredibly hard-working and dedicated leader.”

Mr Brown took up the role of chief fire officer in January 2023 after previously serving in London.

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