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Letting agent jailed for failing to fit smoke alarms after two boys killed in Huddersfield house fire

Kamal Bains was jailed for 12 months. Credit: ITV

A letting agent has been jailed for a year for failing to fit smoke alarms at a house in Huddersfield which was later engulfed in a fire that killed two boys.

Three-year-old Logan Taylor and Jake Casey, aged two, died in the blaze at a house in Alder Street on February 20 2016.

Their parents, Emma Taylor and Jamie Casey, have released a statement saying a simple check by Bains "could have saved the lives of our boys".

Kamal Bains, 51, of Stableford Gardens, Birkby, originally denied two charges of manslaughter before he pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of failing to discharge the employer’s general duty owed under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Logan Taylor and Jake Casey died in the fire. Credit: Family photo

This has been a long and painful process for our family since the loss of our two boys.

We do hope that this case highlights this important issue and for people to know their responsibilities as landlords or letting agents and to take appropriate action to ensure that any property they are responsible for has working smoke alarms.

Such a simple check could have saved the lives of our boys and we want to ensure that this does not happen to anyone else.

– Emma Taylor and Jamie Casey, the boys' parents

A hearing at Leeds Crown Court was told Bains was repeatedly asked by the tenants to carry out repairs at the address, including the installation of smoke alarms, since they moved there in May 2015.

The fire is thought to have started due to an electrical fault in equipment in the boys' bedroom.

The prosecution of Bains is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK since the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regulations 2015 was introduced.

It required private sector landlords to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties from October 1 2015.

This landmark case shows how vitally important it is that landlords and letting agents take their responsibilities seriously or the consequences do not bear thinking about.

– Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton, at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service