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March 17, 2022

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In Court

Care home fined £46k after woman dies in fire

Care home, Elder Healthcare, on the Isle of Man, has been fined £46,000 for health and safety breaches after a 95-year-old died in a fire in 2019.

The court heard Elder Healthcare was not to blame for the death of Olive Renecle, who died in a sheltered flat connected to the care home in Douglas on 17 November 2019. However, Deemster, Graeme Cook, said “shortcomings” were found in fire safety training and procedures.

Elder Healthcare have said fire safety training has since been updated.

An electrical fault caused a blaze at Ms Renecle’s home on Fuchsia Lane, which connected to Elder Grange care home.

Smoke and heat detectors were linked to the nurse call centre at the home which is required to give emergency assistance to the residence in sheltered accommodation on Fuchsia Lane and Fuchsia Court.

The hearing was told that a smoke detector had triggered the call system, but staff could not work out which flat the alarm related to due to problems with the documentation and contact lists.

Checks were made in the home, but not in the sheltered flats 100m (0.6miles) away – which included flat 32 – owned by Olive Renecle. The alarm was temporarily switched off and no one contacted the fire service.

A neighbour called 999 after noticing smoke coming from the flat, and firefighters did attend the scene. Olive was taken to hospital but later died.

Elder Healthcare was fined £46,000 and ordered to pay a further £4,000 in prosecution costs with Deemster Cook saying, the firm needed to be aware “this must never happen again”.

The company claims it has since updated its contact lists and training, and fire risk assessments have now been put in place.

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