Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has concluded its investigation into a fire at a block of flats in Stoke-on-Trent.
Our thoughts remain with the family of those who died and were seriously hurt in this fire. We have met with them to update them on this outcome.
At 5.58am on Sunday, October 1, 2017, firefighters responded to reports of a fire in a ground floor flat in Ringland Close, Hanley. The fire was contained to the privately rented flat where it started but the smoke had spread throughout the three story building.
Firefighters rescued three casualties from the building; a woman, a child and a baby. Sadly the woman, Zainab Adam, aged 36, and her six-year-old child Tafaoul Fadul died in hospital a short time after the incident. A baby also suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the incident and they remained in hospital for some time but they have now been released in a stable condition. The crews also rescued a man with a ladder and another casualty is believed to have jumped from a ledge of the low rise building to escape, thankfully neither of these men suffered serious injuries.
As a result of the fire people in neighbouring properties were evacuated.
A Fire Investigation found the fire started accidentally and involved an electric storage heater which was in close proximity to clothing.
Since the fire the Service has worked closely with colleagues from Staffordshire Police to investigate the incident and establish if there was evidence to support a prosecution for breaches under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Despite a thorough and detailed investigation, insufficient evidence was found.
Glynn Luznyj, Director of Prevent and Protect, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of those who died and were seriously hurt in this fire. We have met with them to update them on this outcome.
“Following a detailed investigation by the Service, where we worked closely with a number of partners, an assessment found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for breaches under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
“During the investigation we have thoroughly explored a number of avenues but the complex circumstances of the incident, including the history of the building and flat involved, meant that we were unable to identify to the standard of proof required by law that an offence had been committed under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
“As a result of this investigation we will be sharing the points of learning from this tragic incident with the National Fire Chief’s Council. We will also share this learning with organisations and individuals that were involved with this building, to improve fire safety in residential buildings locally and to reduce the likelihood of an incident like this ever happening again.”