A property management company and risk assessors have been sentenced over a fire within a block of flats.
The prosecution followed a fire within a flat at Tower Chambers on Tower Street in Hartlepool which saw 17 people evacuated, with five rescued by the fire brigade in the early hours of 2 February 2021.
Asset Property Management North East Ltd, Total Safety Events Ltd and Mr Justin Morgan appeared at a hearing at Teesside Crown Court on 26 October 2023 after pleading guilty to several fire offences last month.
Asset Property Management had pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate general fire precautions, failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment, failing to provide adequate fire doors to protect the escape route, and failing to maintain fire safety facilities. The company received a £25,000 fine.
Total Safety Events Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and were fined were fined £10,000.
Morgan, 47, of Crosthwaite Gardens, Skelton, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to make a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment and failing to cooperate and coordinate his activities with other responsible persons. He received a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months and 120 hours of unpaid work.
Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer at Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “We welcome the outcome of the court case, which reflects the seriousness of the offences committed under fire safety legislation.
"We always seek to work with business owners in the first instance to maintain fire safety standards within their premises. Where individuals responsible for building fire safety completely disregard their duty and place people at risk, Cleveland Fire Authority will not hesitate to use all of its powers and prosecute offenders where necessary.
“We would like to remind all businesses that they have a duty to comply with fire safety legislation and support is available from our dedicated team of Fire Safety officers. In bringing this case to prosecution, it demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibilities to protect the lives of people within our community.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...