A landlord showed a “flagrant disregard” for fire regulations as he left tenants to live in “squalor” in a huge former hotel that had just one emergency escape route.
Fire and council officers found a catalogue of breaches of safety regulations when they searched the seemingly empty and derelict New Kimberley Hotel in South Beach.
Peter Metcalf was today sentenced to 18 months in prison and told to cover the more than £5,000 costs of the investigation and legal case.
Metcalf, 51, formerly of the Halfway House Hotel, Squires Gate, was found guilty of 15 offences relating to breaches at the property.
Inside the 190-bed property investigators found four tenants living in a single room, despite the building having no working fire alarm system and escape routes chained or nailed shut.
Fire bosses today praised the sentence - the longest ever given for an offence of breaching official fire safety regulations.
Dave Russel, assistant chief fire officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said: “We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of the case.
“The property had a number of breaches of fire safety and extremely poor fire safety management. It presented a serious risk to life.”
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