Sprinklers had not been installed in the burnt-out Warwickshire warehouse where four firemen are feared to have died

The burnt-out Warwickshire warehouse in which four firefighters are feared to have died did not have water sprinklers, it has emerged.

One fire-fighter was confirmed dead on Friday evening, when flames overtook the warehouse in Atherstone-on-Stour, Warwickshire. Three others are missing.

Avish Malde, a director of vegetable packing firm Wealmoor Atherstone, which owns the building, said that it had been preparing to install sprinklers.

He said: “There isn’t a fire sprinkler system in place at the moment, but plans were in place to actually put one in. So at this moment in time we’re co-operating fully with the fire services on that line of enquiry.”

The building’s previous owners, Bomfords, had begun work on a sprinkler system earlier this year, but had gone into administration before construction started.

The fire began on Friday evening and continued until Saturday afternoon. 100 firefighters and up to 16 fire-engines were on site to extinguish the flames.

The remains of the building are still unstable, and specialist teams are currently on site searching for survivors and looking for what might have caused the blaze. Police are treating it as suspicious.