Blackburn hostel owner fined for fire safety breaches following fatal blaze

Following a fatal fire two years ago, the owner of a hostel in Blackburn has been fined in Preston Crown Court for breaching fire safety regulations.

Sajed Hussain, the owner of the Devonshire Hotel on Bridge Street, was fined £3,000 after it was found that the premises did not have a proper fire evacuation procedure in place at the time of the fire.

The fire, which took place in November 2008, was found to be caused by a resident smoking in bed and accidentally setting fire to his bedding. The same resident, Paul Barker, lost his life in the fire.

Fire alarms sounded at the Devonshire Hotel at the time of the fire, but the evacuation itself was described as being confused and disorganised.

It was later established that Mr Hussain had not, as taught on all fire safety training courses, planned and practised the evacuation procedure ahead of the incident. There was no established assembly point or roll call, the evacuation was not immediate and the fire service was not called as soon as the fire was spotted.

Whilst a clear-cut causal link could not be established between the tragic death of Mr Barker in the fire and the lack of proper evacuation procedures, Mr Hussain nonetheless breached the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and therefore put lives at risk.