Barking guest house owner ‘put lives at serious risk’

A former B&B owner has been handed a suspended sentence after the lack of fire regulations at her gu

A former B&B owner has been handed a suspended sentence after the lack of fire regulations at her guest house in Bastable Avenue, Barking. - Credit: Archant

A B&B owner whose actions led to two people narrowly escaping a fire through a window has been handed a six-month jail term, suspended for two years.

Kanchan Sawhney, 48, was sentenced on Tuesday at Snaresbrook Crown Court after putting lives “at risk” through a lack of fire safety at the Barking Guest House she ran in Bastable Avenue.

She was found guilty for failing to implement an adequate escape route, fire alarm and lack of fire assessment following a trial last month.

Two men were injured in the fire, with one hurting his foot and the other sustaining a cut foot and smoke inhalation. The blaze, caused by a faulty electric blanket, also badly damaged the ground and first floors of the three-storey terrace house.

Dan Daly, London Fire Brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, said the fire on April 30, 2014, was “very serious”, adding: “If it hadn’t been for the efforts of the firefighters who brought it under control, the outcome could have been even worse.”

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“As the owner of the guest house, Ms Sawhney was responsible for ensuring the correct fire safety measures were in place and that her premises met fire safety regulations,” he explained.

“The fact that they clearly weren’t in place and didn’t meet those regulations put the lives of everyone inside the property at serious risk.”

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Sawhney, of Bastable Avenue, Barking, was found guilty of three offences under the regulatory reform order.

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