A landlord of a house of multiple occupation in London has been given a 6 month suspended prison sentence after a tragic fire resulted in the deaths of 2 men.
Mr Muhammed Ashraf pleaded guilty to four offences in regards to fire safety, and was also ordered to pay fines totalling £22,684 in addition to the 6 month suspended sentence.
When fire inspectors arrived at the houses the next day to investigate, they were faced with a number of fire safety failings. These included no fire alarm system, no fire doors, no fire extinguishers and no record of a fire risk assessment having ever been carried out. The only emergency escape route was at the front of the house and could only be opened with a key, making it useless in the event of an emergency situation.
It took 20 fire fighters and 4 fire engines from the London Fire Brigade to tackle the blaze, which had started on the ground floor and quickly spread to the first floor and loft. Unfortunately the efforts of the fire services could not save the lives of two men in the building, who were trapped.
London Fire Brigades assistant commissioner for fire safety Neil Orbell said “it is a tragedy that two people’s lives have been lost as a direct result of fire safety failures, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr McCann and Mr Zulfiqar.”
“Landlords running houses in multiple occupation have a legal duty to keep their tenants safe from fire. The defendant have fallen very far short of the necessary fire safety standards, which sadly contributed to this terrible loss of life.”