Penhallow Hotel fire fine is welcomed

Penhallow Hotel fire Three people died as a result of the fire

The fining of a company for failing to meet fire safety standards at a hotel in Newquay has been welcomed by Cornwall's fire service.

Three people from Staffordshire died as a result of the fire at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay in August 2007.

O&C Holdsworth Ltd admitted failing to have safety procedures and equpiment in place. It was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £62,000 costs.

The fire service said it reflected the "seriousness of this case".

Jumped from window

Holidaymakers Joan Harper, 80, Monica Hughes, 86, and her son Peter, 43, died in the blaze, described by firefighters as the worst hotel fire in Britain for 40 years.

Mr Hughes, a teacher from Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire, jumped from a third-floor window after trying in vain to save his mother.

Ms Harper, of Stoke-on-Trent, was also trapped, while her twin sister Marjorie Brys was one of more than 90 people who escaped the four-storey hotel.

Cornwall Council and the fire service decided to bring forward the prosecution after a comprehensive investigation into fire safety at the hotel.

Fire safety

The company, from Halifax, Yorkshire, admitted two charges in March of breaching fire precautions. It was sentenced at Truro Crown Court earlier this week.

The council and the fire service said: "We hope that this will send out a very clear message to the hotel and leisure industry where sleeping accommodation is provided.

"This shows the importance of adhering to fire safety legislation and ensuring the management of fire precautions is a high priority."

The fire service in Cornwall added it was continuing to work with the families of those who lost their lives in the fire to offer support.

An inquest into the deaths in 2009 returned open verdicts on all three victims.

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