Lancashire landlord fined over serious fire safety breaches

HAZARD: The flats on Westminster Road, Morecambe

HAZARD: The flats on Westminster Road, Morecambe

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A businessman who owns several properties in north Lancashire is more than £20,000 out of pocket after admitting serious fire safety breaches.

Landlord Eli Zohar, 68, of Marine Road West, Morecambe, put lives at risk at a block of flats occupied by several people - despite having being served with a notice by fire safety inspectors.

Zohar, who owns several properties in Morecambe and Lancaster, was prosecuted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue over failures to comply with an enforcement notice served on June 10 at flats on Westminster Road, Morecambe, which related to ensuring the adequacy of fire precautions, and failing to effectively maintain his emergency lighting.

The court heard it was served following an inspection of the building three days earlier.

He pleaded guilty to two offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and Preston Crown Court imposed fines of £10,500, costs of £12,000 and a £120 victim surcharge.

Today, Tony Crook, Group Manager, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, heading up Prevention, Protection and Road Safety said:: “Mr Zohar is a landlord of a large number of properties in the Morecambe area, and as such has a duty to ensure that his tenants are provided a safe environment. We hope that this prosecution will ensure that the standard of his properties are kept within the requirements of the law.

“In our constant drive to make Lancashire safer, LFRS fire safety enforcement teams are actively seeking out such premises. We would hope that the outcome of this particular case sends a clear message that fire safety is a priority issue that should always be addressed before tenants or guests are accommodated.

“In this instance the consequences of the inadequate fire safety measures and inadequate management could have led to serious injury or loss of life and circumstances left us no option but to take this action.”

He added: “Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will always work with those willing to address fire safety issues and businesses can be assured that we will continue to support them in complying with the Fire Safety Order.”