A landlord who broke fire safety laws in London has been handed a suspended prison sentence and told to carry out 100 hours of community service.
The landlord rented out rooms in a disused pub in Kentish Town - Tavern Inn the Town - and was found out following a fire safety audit of the premises in January 2010.
According to London Fire Brigade (LFB), a number of concerns were raised, including a lack of fire detection system and poor escape facilities from the building. Having returned to the same building in July that year, fire safety officers found people living at the premises and sleeping on mattresses. Mr O'Leary was then questioned on the issue and admitted that the property was being used as sleeping accommodation. The organisation again reiterated the dangers involved in using properties such as these as bedsits because of the risks in heating, cooking and lighting living accommodation. Speaking after the sentencing London Fire Brigade's assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said this should be a warning for other landlords using buildings in the same way. "The issue of unsuitable buildings being rented out as accommodation continues to be a concern for London Fire Brigade and this verdict sends out a clear message that if building owners ignore their responsibilities under fire safety law we will not hesitate to prosecute and they will face serious penalties," he noted.
Furthermore, the Judge said while handing down the sentence that it was only good luck that a serious incident did not occur over the last few years, therefore making the sentence handed to Mr O'Leary just.
Non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.
An elderly woman has died after an early morning fire at a flat in South Lanarkshire.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service said emergency crews were called to the scene in the Cambuslang area at 01:34. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and put out the blaze but found the body of the woman during a search. A joint fire service and police investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.
More than 70 firefighters spent the night tackling a blaze at a thatched house in Suffolk.
Crews were called to Pepper Lane in Thurston just before 21:00 GMT on Monday.
Appliances from across the county attended the fire, which saw part of the roof collapse onto the first floor of the building. The clear-up is now under way and an investigation into the cause of the fire has begun. No-one was hurt in what is the second major thatched roof fire Suffolk firefighters have dealt with within a week. Last Friday a cottage on Poy Street Green in Rattlesden was left virtually destroyed by fire.
Four people have been taken to hospital to be treated for burns and the effects of smoke inhalation after a fire in a house in Northampton.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the property on the Thorplands Estate at about 20:30 BST on Monday.
People nearby had to leave their homes but were later allowed back. Northamptonshire Police said an investigation into the cause of the fire would continue later.
A school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and autism was hit by a fire earlier this week, but the quick thinking of teachers and maturity of students meant there were no injuries.Treetops School in Thurrock, was evacuated at 13.20 GMT yesterday as Essex County Fire and Rescue Service quickly attended the scene.
Around 270 of the school's pupils - aged between three and 19 years old - were led to safety by staff and the school will now be closed until Monday at the earliest (March 18th). Headteacher Paul Smith said how proud he was of the pupils for how well they dealt with the situation, while also expressing his relief that the school remains intact. "The children realised it was a real situation and they behaved impeccably," he explained. "There was no panic and the staff of the school were marvellous. We regularly have fire drills and this really paid off.
Non-domestic premises, including schools, in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison. For further information on fire risk assessments for schools click here.