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Property managing agent must pay £40,000 six years after woman dies in Isle of Dogs flat fire

PUBLISHED: 17:17 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:33 09 April 2018

Sophie Rosser died in the fire in August 2012.

Sophie Rosser died in the fire in August 2012.

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A property managing agent has been ordered to pay £40,000 after a woman died in a fire at a block of flats on the Isle of Dogs.

Sophie and her partner Oscar Silva and  had been living together for over two and half years at Meridian Place.Sophie and her partner Oscar Silva and had been living together for over two and half years at Meridian Place.

The blaze at Meridian Place on Marsh Wall, claimed the life of Sophie Rosser who lived on the fifth floor with her partner Oscar Silva and a flatmate.

The 23-year-old was found unconscious on the fourth floor of the building by fire crews and was treated at the scene in the early hours of August 26, 2012.

She died later in hospital.

An inspection of the building after the blaze uncovered a number of serious fire safety failures including a poorly maintained fire detection system.

This allowed the fire to spread quickly to other parts of the building.

An enforcement notice was issued to the leasehold owners of the building and the managing agents for the fire safety failings.

At Southwark Crown Court, Parc Properties Management Ltd (PPML), the managing agent for Meridian Place Management Ltd, admitted two offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRO) 2005 and was ordered to pay £40,000 in costs and a victim surcharge.

Vance Miller, who completed a fire risk assessment for PPML at Meridian Place in 2008, also pleaded guilty to one offence under the RRO.

He admitted failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk, and fined £2,000 and must pay £5,000 in costs and a victim surcharge.

Lee Drawbridge, deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety, said: “Building owners have a responsibility to ensure regular fire risk assessments are undertaken which will help ensure that buildings have appropriate fire protective measures in place.

“There were serious fire safety breaches in this block of flats which resulted in the fire quickly spreading to other parts of the building.

“While London Fire Brigade want to work with building owners to help them meet their safety responsibilities, where we breaches of those responsibilities, we will do all we can to ensure the relevant agencies and individuals are prosecuted.”

Sophie, who was originally from Cardiff in Wales, was described by her father Julian as a ‘a beautiful and creative person who everyone loved’.

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