Due to the absence of smoke alarms in a rental property, two children, Logan Taylor, 3 years old and Jake Casey, 2 years old, have died in addition to a property manager facing trial.
As reported, despite smoke alarms being requested by tenants of the property, Emma Taylor and her partner Jamie Casey, Kamal Baines, the Director of Prime Property Estates in Yorkshire had allegedly neglected this request, failing to install these alarms.
Taylor told Leeds Crown Court: “He didn’t seem bothered. As long as he got the rent, he was happy for me to live like that with my kids.”
It is common knowledge that Baines’ firm, which was closed last year, was responsible for the management of over 140 rental properties around the Huddersfield area on behalf of private landlords.
Taylor had apparently enquired about smoke alarms upon moving into the property, due to her eldest son having started a fire in their previous property by putting a tea towel on a gas ring.
According to Prosecutor Allan Compton also commented: “One of the children living in the property who died was autistic. If ever there was an address to prioritise in ensuring alarms were present, it would have been that one.”
The cause of the fire was reportedly concerning an electrical fault that had taken place on the children’s bedroom.
The Court was informed that an upstairs alarm could have provided Miss Taylor with a 5-minute window to save the children.
Furthermore, in October 2015, it was mandatory that smoke alarms were installed on all floors of rental properties.
Miss Taylor had urgently attempted to make her way into her children’s bedroom, however, was unable to avoid the smoke and flames blocking her way. Neighbours who also intervened were unfortunately defeated by the smokes and flames.
Taylor and Casey’s eldest son, Finley has managed to escape the fire.
Baines, aged 51, denies two counts of manslaughter in addition to one offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
This trial continues today.
For advice concerning compliance with Fire Safety regulations, in addition to advice on Gas Safety, please visit the Landlord News website