Nursing home fined following fire death

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A Brookholme care home in Chesterfield has been fined £141,000 and ordered to pay costs of £73,000 following a fire which led to the death of a resident.

Evelyn Raywood died from her injuries after being rescued from the home in Hasland, which is run by Brookholme Croft Ltd, during the blaze in October 2013, the Derbyshire Times reported.

John Haynes, fire inspector for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “In this tragic case the company failed in their duty to provide a safe environment and as a result, residents were exposed to a very real risk of death and injury on the night of the fire.

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“It was only a matter of chance that the death toll was not much higher as there was no evacuation attempted by staff, who had erroneously been told to leave immobile residents in their room and await rescue by the fire service.

“This case will send a strong message to operators of care homes underlining their responsibility to ensure all residents can be safely evacuated in the event of fire.”

The blaze in the home was started by an electronic cigarette battery which had been left to charge.

Brookholme had inadequate fire safety provisions, which had been highlighted by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service in November 2012 and in May 2013.

The required improvements had not been fully implemented at the time of the fire. The home failed to carry out a fire risk assessment and identify inadequate evacuation provisions.

Other failures included a lack of evacuation equipment, insufficient staffing to evacuate residents requiring assistance, inadequate emergency lighting, staff training and emergency evacuation plans.

 

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