An unsafe home, which neighbours claimed was occupied by as many as 20 people, has been shut down by town hall bosses who branded it “a recipe for disaster”.
Council and fire chiefs, who conducted the operation together, said the property, in Coronation Street, Blackpool, could easily have led to the deaths of those inside if a fire had broke out.
Council officers got a warrant to search the building and inside eight men were discovered, along with a number of mattresses and a raft of safety hazards which meant the building was unsafe for people to live in.
There were no smoke alarms, fire extinguishing equipment or fire doors within the property and combustible items, including an Liquid Petroleum Gas cylinder, were found.
As a result, a prohibition notice, ordering immediate closure of the property, was issued by council officers
Police also arrested one man on suspicion of immigration offences.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member said: “This property was a danger to those living within it and nearby because of a lack of compliance with fire regulations.
“There were no fire doors or smoke alarms along which could have left people within the property, and potentially neighbouring properties, in serious danger had a fire broken out.
“There were also concerns about the state of the electrics and combined with a Liquid Petroleum Gas cylinder being in the property, it was a recipe for disaster.”
Mark Cairns, Fire Safety Enforcement team leader, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said it was “totally unacceptable that conditions exist where people could die in sleeping accommodation due to mismanagement and lack of fire safety”.
He added: “Owners, landlords, responsible persons and managers of letting companies must appoint appropriate persons or manage premises themselves.
“Anybody seeking assistance in understanding the requirements of the law can contact their local fire safety department for advice via our website, www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk.”
Blackpool Council has been carrying out a string of housing enforcement warrants to access “high risk” premises that pose a risk.
Coun Campbell said shutting down the home in Coronation Street was a small example of the work the authority had been doing to tackle such problems.