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Nightclub fined after woman's hair caught fire

Moko Lounge Credit: Google Maps

A nightclub has been ordered to pay more than £21,000 after a woman's hair caught fire leading to burns.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were made aware of an incident at Moko Lounge in Harrogate on February 24, 2018

The victim's hair had been ignited by a lit candle placed on a table in the nightclub.

She was on fire for 12 seconds and suffered burns to her face, neck and hair.

Investigations found that the use of candles had not been risk assessed and that no defined control measures to protect persons from a naked flame were in place.

We brought this prosecution against Moko Lounge Ltd because we were of the view that this unfortunate incident was both foreseeable and avoidable.

Despite there being a risk assessment in place it had not referenced the presence of candles being used in the nightclub and therefore no control measures to protect the public and staff were put in place.

We would like to remind business owners that it is important that they are aware of the legislative requirements they need to comply with including have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

– Dave Winspear, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Magistrate said that he was surprised that the company had not removed the candles from the nightclub and that further regulatory restrictions were required by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to remove them from use.

The Magistrate also commented that the company had not followed its own policy and reviewed the fire safety risk assessment every 12 months.

Fines totalling £21,962 inclusive of costs were awarded for the fire safety breach on the night.

The company being Moko Lounge released a statement following the case expressing its regret about the incident.

The Directors of Harewood Group have always taken our responsibilities very seriously which is evidenced by our exemplary 30 years track record across many venues nationally and having hosted more than 1 million customers at Moko alone over its 15 years of trading.

We acknowledge the judgement of the court today and appreciate the magistrate's acknowledgement of our track record and the fact that this infringement was very limited in extent and a one off issue.> We will continue to put our customers welfare at the centre of our focus in providing entertainment for the people of Harrogate.

– Harewood Group spokesperson