Landlord fined after house blaze

The fire broke out at a property on Clarence Street in Morecambe.
The fire broke out at a property on Clarence Street in Morecambe.

A landlord who breached fire safety regulations has been fined £36,000 after a blaze broek out in his property.

At least four people were in the building on Clarence Street in Morecambe when a fire was sparked in a flat by someone falling asleep while cooking.

Preston Crown Court heard the fire alarm was not sounding in the flat, but others were alerted by the noise of a low beep.

Graham Sawings, 41, of Normoss Avenue, Blackpool, was fined £36,300, with £7,000 costs and a £15 statutory surcharge, after admitting 10 breaches of fire safety regulations.

The fire had broken out in the property in July last year.

The property became substantially filled with smoke and one person was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Two children under 10 were in the building.

Judge Pamela Badley told Sawings: “It is very fortunate indeed there wasn’t more severe injury, or even death occurring to people living in that property.

“Had that happened, how you would have lived with your conscience is a matter of conjecture”.

Stuart Mills, defending, said they were offences of omission, rather than commission.

He said his client had never intentionally set out to hurt anyone.

Group Manager Tony Crook, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s Northern Area Community Protection Manager said:“The omission of fire safety precautions had the potential to cause death or serious injury to nine people, including children, either living or visiting there when the fire occurred.”