A landlord who put his tenants’ lives at risk by ignoring fire safety regulations has been jailed for eight months. Haresh Rambhai Patel’s two adjoining properties in Evington Street, Highfields, Leicester, caught fire in the early hours of May.
Firefighters had to rescue three residents from the smoke-logged three-storey building, where no proper fire safety measures were in place. Patel had ignored safety warnings and advice given a year before the blaze.
He pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 during an earlier hearing at Leicester Crown Court.
Fire Safety breaches included no fire risk assessment, no evacuation strategy and the fire alarm wasn’t working. In addition, there were no working smoke alarms or emergency lights, blocked fire exits, combustible obstacles such as furniture in corridors, fire doors were either missing, left open or jammed and a fire extinguisher in the hall had not been inspected for 25 years.
The court was told Patel was fined £38,000 by magistrates earlier this year following a separate city council prosecution, for failing to have the necessary licences to run his business at Evington Street and Gopsall Street.
After the hearing, Fire and Rescue Service head of community safety said the case showed a “shocking lack of regard” for the residents.
“This sentence sends a very strong message to the owners and managers of similar premises regarding their legal responsibilities, and the likely result of ignoring them.”