Landlord pleads guilty to fire safety breaches

Leslie Brinksman, 49, of Walgrave Road, Newton-Le-Willows in Merseyside was sentenced by Warrington Magistrates Court on 13 March after pleading guilty to four offences under the Fire Safety Order 2005.

The charges all related to a property Mr Brinksman leased on Lovely Lane in Warrington.

On 17 August 2011 a fire broke out at the three-storey premises, which incorporated the Sinbin Bar, the Crossbar and a bed and breakfast operation run at the time by Mr Brinksman. 

The fire – which is believed to have started in a bin pushed up against the rear of the property and which spread through a large part of the building – was made worse because it ruptured a 1,000 litre diesel tank being used as fuel for a generator that supplied power to the premises.

Two men became trapped in the blaze and needed rescuing by firefighters from the first floor of the building.

‘We welcome the sentence handed out by the court, as this was a serious breach of fire safety that could have cost someone their life,’ said Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s deputy chief fire officer, Mark Cashin.

‘Mr Brinksman had failed to carry out a fire safety risk assessment to ensure tenants and the building’s occupiers would be able to evacuate in the event of a fire – we are certain that this would have proved fatal if it had not been for the action taken by firefighters.’

The four offences were: a failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment; failure to take preventative and protective measures; failure to provide appropriate firefighting equipment; and failure to maintain appropriate firefighting equipment. Source: Fire Risk Management Journal

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