Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has secured a successful conviction against the owner of a Bushey restaurant for serious breaches of fire safety law.

Kamruz Zaman, of the Red Ginger restaurant in High Street, Bushey, pleaded guilty to seven offences and employee Adiel Choudhury pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Zaman was fined £5,750 and Choudhury £6,000 for the offences. Full costs of £9,161 plus victim surcharges were awarded, resulting in a total fine of £20,941.

The fire at the restaurant started on the ground floor in the early hours of Friday 9th July 2010. An employee of the restaurant sleeping on the first floor was woken by the smell of smoke which had engulfed the premises. He was extremely fortunate to escape by climbing up through a roof window, sliding down the roof and dropping to the ground.

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the premises where they carried out search and rescue operations and extinguished the fire. No-one else was found in the premises despite numerous beds and mattresses discovered on the first floor. The crews also noticed that the fire alarm system was not working and a later investigation concluded that the fire was started deliberately. 

In mitigation, the defendants accepted full responsibility for the shortfalls and thought that they had done all that was reasonable. However, they accepted that they fell short of the mark. 

Hertfordshire's Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said: "Where breaches of fire legislation are considered so serious that there is a risk of death or serious injury to persons we will consider prosecution. In this case members of the public and employees were put at risk and one employee was extremely fortunate to escape with his life."

Richard Thake, Executive Member for Community Safety said: "I hope this serves as a lesson to other business owners that we will take action when fire safety regulations are flouted."

For further information visit: www.hertsdirect.org  


Posted December 6th, 2011 at 1530 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com