A CRIME and fire prevention company and a landlord were fined more than £40,000 after pleading guilty to a total of 17 charges relating to fire regulation breaches.

The prosecution by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service followed a fire in a kitchen at premises on Chepstow Road, Newport, in May 2012, following which the occupant of a first floor flat was taken to hospital. The building had a shop on the ground floor.

Business fire safety officers were called in and they liaised with Newport council environmental health officers who issued an emergency prohibition order barring further use of the accommodation.

Landlord Jeffrey Colin Bufton, from Magor, was fined £18,000 after pleading guilty to eleven charges arising from failure to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Cwmbran magistrates court was told he failed to carry out a fire risk assessment, and ensure fire detectors and alarms were installed, and also failed to provide protection between flats and shop. There was no protected route provided from the flats, and inadequate fire doors on the first floor.

Shop occupier, Alpha Crime and Fire Prevention Limited, was fined £24,000 after pleading guilty to six offences relating to the above order.

There was no evidence a fire risk assessment had been carried out and holes were discovered in the ceiling between the shop and the first floor, meaning a fire could spread. The staircase, which was the only escape route for the residents, had not been adequately protected, while combustible materials were found stored in a cupboard housing electrical apparatus and the gas meter.

Both defendants were ordered to pay £5,000 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.