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Holiday home owner fined after fire involving young family at Porthleven

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

The holiday home is in Porthleven

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A PORTHLEVEN holiday home, which caught fire while a young family were staying, did not have enough smoke alarms.

The family, which included three young children, smelt smoke after the fridge caught fire and escaped in time.

The fire service’s group manager Steve Halstead said: “Fortunately no one was injured - but if this fire had occurred during the night when the family were asleep, it is likely there would have been a loss of life.”

The owner of the home, Charles Brian Smith, of Roker Lane, Pudsey in West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching fire safety rules at Truro Magistrates Court last week.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

The action was brought by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service after crews were called to the holiday let in June 2012.

Firemen quickly put out the flames but the building was substantially damaged.

An investigation into fire precautions and found the house had not been fitted with enough smoke detectors.

Mr Halstead, of the fire service, added: “It is important that people are aware that holiday lets and bed and breakfast premises have to satisfy the requirement of fire safety legislation.

“There is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment and act on those finding to ensure the fire precautions are sufficient to protect the occupants.

“In holiday lets and bed and breakfast premises smoke detectors are required in bedrooms and must be interlinked to detectors in other areas of the premises in order to provide both early warning and sufficient audibility to wake persons from sleep.”

He said that, as well as enforcement action, the fire service wants to work with business owners in meeting legal obligations.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Council’s cabinet member for homes and communities, added: “It is important for all properties to be protected by adequate smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, especially those that are rented to people who may be unfamiliar with the property.

“The safety of the public is paramount and I know the fire service is always happy to advise on such fire precautions.”

Further information is available on the fire service website or on 01726 72582.

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