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Hotel company fined more than £35,000 after fire

09 May 2008

A hotel management company has been fined a total of more than £35,000 after serious breaches of security were discovered following a fire.

Mill House Inns Trading admitted breaking fire safety regulations at the White Swan Hotel in Arundel in Sussex, during a hearing before Worthing Magistrates.

The court heard that fire broke out at the hotel in March 2007 and 10 guests trapped in their bedrooms had to be rescued by fire fighters. No serious injuries were reported.

A subsequent investigation by fire officers revealed a series of lapses of fire safety security.

According to evidence given before the court the fire alarm panel had been switched to silent, fire doors had been wedged open, staff had not received adequate fire safety training, fire alarms had not been tested correctly, and there was no overall emergency plan.

The company was fined £25,000 with £11,000 costs.

After the case director of community protection Trevor Pilcher said: "This hotel had the right physical precautions in place like smoke detectors, self-closing fire doors, emergency lighting and fire extinguishers but all that becomes ineffective if the management of the fire precautions isn't good enough."

By Andrew Smith

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