West Midlands Fire Service has announced the death of Chief Fire Officer Wayne Brown
The death of the chief officer of West Midlands Fire Service has left an “enormous void” at the organisation, its deputy chief has said.
Wayne Brown was discovered at his home on Wednesday.
His death was not being treated as suspicious by police, said the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority.
Mr Brown was being investigated over claims made on social media about his qualifications for the role.
“We are all devastated by Wayne’s passing,” said deputy chief fire Officer Jo Bowcock.
In a video posted on social media she thanked people who had sent messages of support.
“Healing will take time, but the messages we have received are helping a great deal,” the post read.
“They mean the world to us,” she added.
A book of condolence has been opened on the fire service’s website for people to share their memories and tributes.
“There’s nothing more to say now other than we’re grieving,” she said.
On Wednesday West Midlands Police said officers were called to an address in Birmingham “where the body of a man in his 50s was sadly found”.
“A formal identification will take place in due course,” a spokesperson added.
Mr Brown joined West Midlands Fire Service in November 2019 as deputy chief fire officer. He took up the role of chief fire officer in January 2023.
He previously served in London attending some of the country’s most high-profile disasters including the Grenfell Tower fire and the 2005 terror attacks.
Staff at West Midlands Fire Service have been offered support.
The service previously confirmed inquiries were ongoing following claims made on social media.
The BBC understands the claims related to a business administration qualification which is a requirement of the role.
The service said a formal process was under way into the allegations.