The ongoing Fatal Accident Inquiry investigating the circumstances of the Rosepark Care Home tragedy has heard evidence from one of the owners of the home.
14 elderly residents of the care home died when fire swept through the building in January 2004.
Anne Balmer, who runs Rosepark Care Home along with her husband, claimed that she did not see fire safety as her remit. She stated that it was her husband and the care manager, or matron who had the responsibility of overseeing the fire policy for the building. The couple also operate two other care homes nearby.
Automatic door closing mechanisms were found to have been removed from some doors. There is a link between the residents who died and those who were in rooms that were open. A training video used at the home highlighted the importance of keeping doors shut in order to prevent the spread of fire.
There was also a delay in calling the emergency services after the fire was discovered, allowing the blaze to further take hold before fire crews arrived.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Chief Officer Brian Sweeney had earlier commented to the Inquiry that fire safety advisers should be regulated, as their work was "a matter of life and death". He said homes should be subject to both scheduled and spot checks to ensure compliance. He said: “Sadly, as far as I’m aware, the law doesn’t require any standard of qualification. That is a real concern."
The Inquiry in Motherwell continues.
At Thompsons, through our experience in assisting the families of victims of fatal accidents the first, and most important thing, that a family need and demand is answers. What happened and why did it happen?
Without these answers they cannot move on with their lives and the grieving process cannot begin.
The family need to know that the death of their loved one served some purpose and that no other family will be touched as they have been by the loss of a loved one and if appropriate they would wish to see criminal proceedings brought against a wrongdoer.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist No Win No Fee lawyers contact us on 0800 0891331 for FREE legal advice.