Boy’s house fire death: landlord jailed

Ajit Singh, of Cleveland Avenue, Kettering, was jailed for failing to take general fire precautions in properties in nine streets in Kettering.

One of the properties, in Edinburgh Road, caught fire on May 22 last year and a seven-year-old boy , Mateusz Wlodarczyk, died in the blaze.

Northampton Crown Court heard during sentencing on Wednesday, September 25, that there was only one fire detector in the house in Edinburgh Road and the battery was disconnected.

The court also heard that there was no fire doors on the premises and the front door could only be opened from the inside with a key, preventing a means of escape for the occupants.

Safety failings were also discovered in Singh’s properties in Havelock Street, Wood Street, Wellington Street, Regent Street, Leicester Street, Mill Road, Digby Street, and Kings Walk, in Kettering.

Two other men, who acted as ‘property managers’ for Singh were also sentenced for the same charge today.

Commenting outside of court, Martyn Emberson, chief fire officer of Northants Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This case clearly demonstrates how seriously fire safety breaches are viewed by the courts. I hope it sends a clear message out to landlords and managing agents across Northamptonshire.

“We pro-actively look for suspected HMOs because we know these are the highest risk premises, housing vulnerable people who are being exploited by landlords who wont fit fire doors, or fire alarm systems.

“These simple precautions are affordable and would save the lives of their tenants should fire occur.

“Where we find systematic non-compliance, or a severe breach, putting lives at risk we will take enforcement action and in the serious cases we will prosecute those responsible.” Source: Northamptonshire Telegraph

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