Hundreds evacuated from office fire

08 Mar 2013

Hundreds of office workers had to be evacuated from an eight-storey building after a blaze broke out in the kitchen of a ground floor cafe.

Police cordoned off the car park and entrance to the former factory in Erdington, Birmingham, as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went inside to tackle the blaze and prevent it spreading to the rest of the building, the Birmingham Post reported.

It was not until more than three hours after the fire was first discovered that workers were allowed to return to their desks at the Fort Dunlop site. Investigators are now working to establish what caused the blaze.

The efficiency of the evacuation process and presence of fire safety measures have been praised for helping to avoid what could have potentially been a fatal incident.

Health and safety regulations mean failing to have those procedures and measures in place could result in the managers and owners of commercial premises breaking the law.

Non-domestic premises in England and Wales must have a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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