A HAMPSHIRE firefighter has invented a piece of equipment that could have saved the lives of two colleagues who died in the Shirley Towers blaze.

Pete Broomfield was working when St Mary's firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears lost their lives on the ninth floor of the towerblock, in April 2010.

Since then has been trying to design a piece of equipment that would have prevented the pair from getting tangled in the cables that fell from the ceiling.

Now, after extensive testing, the firefighter who worked in Hamble and Fareham, has launched the specially adapted strap which stops cables getting tangled around the air cylinders on firefighters' backs.

Ff Broomfield said: “Cables have been responsible for the deaths of firefighters and something as simple as this is a matter of pence to a brigade.

“If you are running away from heat to get through a door, it could be a matter of life or death - this strap will help you make it through that door.”