Restaurateur fined for fire safety breaches

The former owner of a restaurant in Cambridge has been fined more than £15,000 after fire safety officers found he was housing his staff in potentially dangerous conditions above the business.

Ibrahim Sultan Miyah formerly owned the Calcutta Club on Mill Road, which is shut at present. He was prosecuted after city council housing officers investigated his business premises and found that the rooms above it were not suitable for residential use.

The main problem was fire safety, as residents living in first floor rooms would have to escape through the restaurant below or jump out the window. Miyah was handed a prohibition notice, preventing people from living in the rooms until improvements to fire escape provisions were made, but he was found in later inspections to have breached it.

As Miyah showed no indication that he would comply with the orders, he was prosecuted and subsequently fined £12,000. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 in court costs.

It is not known whether Miyah failed to improve his premises because he lacked the proper fire safety training, or whether it was negligence.

Commenting on the case, Cambridge City Council’s housing chief Catherine Smart said:

“Fire safety regulations must not be taken lightly or ignored and the city council will point this out and will pursue the matter through the courts, if necessary.”