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May 11, 2023


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£500k fine for Camden Council after failing to address fire defects which led to “unnecessary death”

Camden Council pleaded guilty to two fire safety offences and was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to pay a fine of £500,000.

Following two risk assessments that took place in 2013 and 2017, both of which identified serious risks, Camden Council was found to have failed to address issues in one of its properties.

A blaze eventually took place in 2017, which led to the death of Magdalena Fink, who was trapped inside her flat after a fire which started in the basement “ripped through the communal staircase in just 15 minutes”.

Risk assessments had found serious concerns that included combustible wooden cladding on the internal staircase and a lack of proper fire doors on flat entrances.

There were also said to be a lack of adequate fire alarms and insufficient compartmentation measures that contributed to the blaze. Flat entrance doors were found to not be fire doors, which had large visible gaps and no self-closing devices.

Camden Council pleaded guilty to two fire safety offences. Emails containing resident concerns over the safety of the building were read out in court, with the Council citing the authority had a “very small team” of two fire safety officers covering the borough. Camden Council manages more than 30,000 homes in north London.

The £500,000 fine imposed on the council was a reduced figure as a result of its guilty plea and because of it being a public authority.

The full story can be found on Inside Housing.


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