Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertfordshire care home fire: Newgrange fined after Cheshunt blaze deaths

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Media captionNewgrange Care Home fire 999 call released

A company which runs a care home where a fire killed two pensioners has been fined for fire safety offences.

Ivy Spriggs, 91, and Daphne Holloway, 88, died in a blaze at Newgrange Care Home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, on 8 April 2017.

Newgrange of Cheshunt Ltd runs the home and admitted five charges of failing to comply with fire safety legislation.

The company was fined £175,000 and will have to pay some prosecution costs.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption The blaze ripped through the care home on Cadmore Lane in Cheshunt

Some 33 residents were rescued, three of whom needed hospital treatment for burns and the effects of breathing in smoke.

The cause of the fire was found to be from an electrical fault which spread to the roof.

Image copyright Herts Police
Image caption Ivy Spriggs, 91, died in the fire which ripped through the home in the early hours of 8 April 2017

Speaking after the sentencing at St Albans Crown Court, Hertfordshire's chief fire officer Darryl Keen said: "This incident highlights the need for all business owners to ensure they fully comply with fire safety legislation.

"If enough competent staff had been present and properly trained to carry out long-established and recognised guidance on evacuations in a care home I am sure that a full evacuation would have been started long before our arrival.

"Evacuation of a care home is a difficult task and needs to be properly considered and practised so that everyone can escape unharmed."

Image copyright Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption A total of 12 pumps were used to tackle the flames, the fire service said

The fire service has since undertaken further inspections of the county's care homes, according to a spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council, which runs the fire service.

The council said the amount of prosecution costs the company will have to pay is to be negotiated.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Thirty-three residents were rescued, three of which needed hospital treatment

The BBC has approached Newgrange of Cheshunt Ltd for comment.

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