Brighton chippy fined £21k after fire

A Brighton fish and chip shop owner has been fined £21,000 for breaking fire safety laws after a blaze at her premises put people’s lives at risk.

Samantha Coull, who runs the Beach Break Café in the King’s Road Arches, admitted six offences at Brighton Magistrates’ Court last month.

The offences came to light after a blaze engulfed the chippy in April last year.

Eight fire engines were sent to the seafront premises and firefighters evacuated neighbouring properties.

The court was told that the fish and chip shop had only one domestic smoke alarm which didn’t work.

And the bench also heard that a build up of grease in a poorly maintained extraction duct was set alight by a faulty chip fryer.

The offences included failing to keep her chip shop free from fire, failing to carry out a risk assessment, not having emergency lighting and having an escape route which was too long.

She hadn’t trained her staff in what to do in the event of a fire.

After she was sentenced yesterday (Thursday 9 August) Richard Fowler, head of protection for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The penalty imposed by the court reflects the serious nature of the offences committed.

“East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service fully supports the penalty imposed and would like to take this opportunity to remind all owners and occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect themselves, their staff and their property against the risk of fire.

“The public should continue to be reassured that we take any breaches of fire safety legislation very seriously.”

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