August 4, 2017

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In-court

Fire hazard hotel put people at risk

The landlord of a hotel in Morecambe, Lancashire, has admitted to twelve offences relating to placing people at risk of death and serious injury, after a number of fire safety defects were found at the property.

As a result of a complaint to Lancashire County Council, Sunny’s Inn in Morecambe, was visited by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) and County Strategic, Lancaster City Council Environmental Health and Principal Housing Options.

Investigators found that several people were staying at the time, with two being long term residents and other short term residents staying for varying periods.

The investigation uncovered:

  • a smoke detector in one of the bedrooms covered with a plastic bag
  • in another bedroom, the smoke detector was covered by a sock
  • fire doors were wedged open with fire extinguishers, meaning a fire could spread easily throughout the rooms
  • the ‘dumb waiter’ was wedged open, meaning any fire on the ground floor could quickly spread to upper floors through the dumb waiter shaft
  • a cardboard box was left in an escape corridor which could have tripped residents’ trying to escape and could have also caught fire
  • some of the doors to the bedrooms would not close, therefore making it easier for fire to spread.

Landlord Syed Masood Ahmed had previously received a number of fire safety notices but continued to allow the premises to be used for sleeping accommodation.

Ahmed pleaded guilty to twelve offences at Lancaster Magistrates Court. He has been bailed to appear for sentencing at Preston Crown Court on 18 August.

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