Landlord ordered to pay £10,000 after serious fire safety failings

A landlord has been ordered to pay over £10,000 after pleading guilty to breaching three separate fire regulations.

Charles Thornton was fined at York Magistrates’ Court last week following prosecution by the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Last September, the Fire and Rescue Service was called to a flat building in York after a fire had been reported.

The fire was caused by an electrical fault near to the fuse board and fire officers discovered that the fire alarm and detection system provided was not working.

Further investigation found that Mr Thornton, who let the two flats, had not carried out a fire risk assessment.

The landlord admitted in an interview that he had not planned or organised his fire safety responsibilities properly.

Thornton was subsequently prosecuted and ordered to pay a £7,000 fine, £2,933 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170 – totalling over £10,100.

“In this case, following the fire incident, it was found that the landlord was responsible for a number of flats across the city,” said David Watson, station manager of the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“[We] will in most cases give responsible persons chance to comply with the legislation before taking legal proceedings.”

“However, where cases are found where there is risk to life of death or serious injury in the event of fire, prosecution will be considered and where appropriate taken.” he said.

Prosecuting, Ms Karen Galloway stated: “The Fire and Rescue Service’s decision to prosecute was not taken lightly and this measure is only taken in the most serious cases.”

“The responsible person is always in a position of authority, their lack of actions should have been foreseeable to prevent, in the event of fire, persons being put at risk of death or serious injury.”

“The contraventions in this case were serious and would have continued had the Fire Authority not acted immediately.”

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