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April 4, 2017


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Fire news round-up

Blocked fire exits lead to £100,000 fine for care home

A care home in Somerset, England has been fined £100,000 after fire doors and escape routes were blocked.

Charges were brought against Almondsbury Care Ltd, in Burnham-on-Sea, following a routine inspection of staff accommodation. Fire safety officers said the care home had failed in its duty to protect staff.

District judge David Taylor told Taunton Magistrates’ Court the company knew its premises had a whole range of “abundantly obvious” failures.

During the inspection, fire safety officers found the three-storey house did not have a sufficient fire detection and warning system in place.

Fire exit doors could not be opened. The inspectors also found a lack of fire-resistant doors and found escape routes blocked by cupboards.

Paul Bray, business safety manager of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, said: “It was extremely fortunate that a fire did not occur at these premises. Almondsbury Care Ltd would have been well aware of the need to implement suitable fire safety measures yet failed to ensure the safety of those working for their company.

“The severity of the fines imposed by the court gives out a clear message to those who have control of a premises and show a disregard for the law and those they have a duty to protect.”

Fire engulfs Dubai skyscraper 

A fire raged through a 72 storey tower complex being built alongside Dubai’s largest mall, on the morning of Sunday.

Though authorities said the fire caused no injuries, three workers were rescued from the blazing structure, just a block away from the 63-story The Address Downtown Dubai hotel, which itself had caught alight back in 2015 on New Year’s Eve.

The fire at The Address Residences Fountain Views complex began at around 5:30am on Sunday 2 April. Major General Rashid Thani al-Matrooshi, the director-general of Dubai Civil Defense, described the fire as accidental. It started in a parking level of the 72-story Fountain Views building. A cause has not been attributed.

A witness at the scene said firefighting crews arrived quickly. However it took much of the morning to get the fire under control, which was punctuated by small explosions due to the propane gas and welding tanks in the building.

The high-rise Fountain Views complex, which is being built by state-backed Dubai developer Emaar Properties, will eventually connect to the huge Dubai Mall across the street. It will hold over 750 apartments and a hotel when built.

Emaar, which built both the Dubai Mall and the tower struck by the 2015 blaze, declined to comment.

Fires are not uncommon in skyscrapers in Dubai and other cities in the United Arab Emirates. Building and safety experts think a potential cause can be found in a popular type of cladding covering for the buildings, made of highly flammable materials.

Fire blazes near Chessington World of Adventures

Dozens of firefighters tackled a large fire at a disused village hall near to the Chessington World of Adventures theme park, on the outskirts of south-west London.

Photos posted on social media showed thick smoke billowing into the sky and six fire engines lining the Leatherhead Road, just a few miles of the M25.

Crews from Surbiton, New Malden and Kingston fire stations attended and colleagues from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze took about two hours to bring under control.

Read more about this blaze on the Evening Standard

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