BATH RESTAURANT THE EASTERN EYE EXPOSED AS FIRE DEATH TRAP
A Bath restaurant posed such a serious fire risk to its customers and staff that its owner could end up in jail.
Investigating fire safety officers found a “compendium of multiple failings” at The Eastern Eye on Quiet Street.
The fire escape was blocked and unlit. The fire alarms were not working. Fire doors were faulty and no fire safety risk assessment had been carried out.
Fire safety officers conducted a full investigation of the Indian restaurant following an initial safety audit carried out in November 2016. Concerns had been raised by a member of the public and Bath and North East Somerset Council.
As a result, they found:
– no fire safety risk assessment had been carried out at the premises
– no staff training records were available
– the fire escape was obstructed and had no lighting
– the fire detection and alarm system had no power to it and was therefore inoperable
– the internal fire doors had no self-closing devices fitted. Some of those that did were either held open with wedges or fitted poorly into their frames.
The Eastern Eye UK Limited and managing director Abdul Hadi Choudhury were sentenced on Friday, September 1, having admitted to multiple and serious breaches of fire safety regulations.
Sentencing in Bristol Crown Court, judge Douglas Field described the breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 as a “compendium of multiple failings”. Had a fire occurred in the kitchen of the restaurant, it would have been almost impossible for the customers and staff to have escaped to safety, the judge concluded. He fined the restaurant £70,000 and handed Choudhury a six-month jail term, suspended for 12 months.
As a result Choudhury will not have to serve any prison time unless he commits another crime during the next 12 months.
Consequently judge Field also ordered the defendants to pay prosecution costs of £8,381.
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