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Fire rescue leads to £250,000 fine for landlord and property management firm

31 May 2017

Following the rescue of 13 people from a fire in Westminster, a corporate landlord and its management company have been handed a fine of £250,000.

It is the largest financial penalty in a fire safety prosecution brought by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) relating to a privately rented individual property.

Full prosecution costs of £49,500 were also awarded to LFB against property owner Crownpark Investments and management company City Estates.

Both companies had pleaded guilty to three offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Southward Crown Court, according to SHP magazine.

The judge described the building, which had been converted into apartments, as an "accident waiting to happen" and said both companies had been aware of the need to improve fire safety within the building.

When the fire broke out on 21 February 2011, the incident had required eight fire engines and approximately 60 fire fighters to attend the property in Ecclestone Square.

Seven occupants were led to safety by members of the fire crew, while four were rescued from the third floor and two from the roof of the building.

An investigation carried out after the incident revealed that no fire alarm or detection system had been fitted and a fire risk assessment had not been completed.

Doors within the building were also found to provide inadequate protection to the escape route.

LFB assistant commissioner for fire safety Dan Daly spoke after the court case to say the two companies had shown "utter contempt" for tenant safety by ignoring fire safety requirements within the building.

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