22 May 2012
A blaze at a Staffordshire pub was battled by firefighters for nine hours after fire broke out on the ground floor as customers were drinking.
The Birches Head Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent had to be evacuated and fire crews who attended discovered that the flames had reached the next floor of the building.
According to the Sentinel, the landlady raised the alarm at around 10pm on May 15.
Firefighters stayed at the site until the next morning, as they tried to control the blaze.
Inside, the pub was badly damaged by the fire, but no-one suffered injuries.
David Agu, station manager at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, told the Sentinel: “New occupants had recently moved into the hotel and they were testing the kitchen appliances when one of the appliances accidentally ignited.
“The occupier tried to extinguish the fire himself, but was driven back due to the intensity of the fire.”
In England and Wales, a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment must be carried out on each commercial property, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
If the assessment is found to have been conducted insufficiently, the Responsible Person could face a maximum of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.
Copyright Press Association 2012