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May 01 2014

Coroner: Open Fire Door Resulted in Death

Category: Fire Doors,NewsLori @ 12:09 am Comments (1)
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Female architect, 23, died after running into burning flat to save her fiance as she returned home from a late-night birthday party – MailOnline

Sophia RosserA young architect died after rushing into a burning block of flats to try and save her fiance, an inquest heard.

Sophie Rosser, 23, tried to raise the alarm when she saw the flat she shared with fiance Oscar Silva, 28, on the Isle of Dogs, East London, was on fire in August last year.

Poplar Coroner’s court heard Miss Rosser, who had been returning from a party in Chelsea, had phoned Mr Silva to say he should get out.

Her body was found on the fourth floor and Mr Silva told the court he watched from the balcony, where he had fled from the smoke, as paramedics desperately tried to revive her.

In a statement read to the court said: ‘A cab dropped her off at 1.37 on Sunday morning and I was asleep. Sophie called me to say there was a fire and our flatmate and I should evacuate.

‘The intercom sounded but I couldn’t hear who it was. The stairwell was full of smoke so we couldn’t get out. We went back into the flat. I rang Sophie at 1.43 but there was no answer.

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Architect died after entering burning building to save fiancé – The Telegraph

On Tuesday the inquest was told how the fire alarms had been turned off two   years earlier because of a fault. An alarms company was called in by   management but was unable to address all of the problems with the system   because they were only paid for one day’s work, the court heard. 

A health and safety expert told the inquest on Monday that the smoke alarm   system had “crashed” and “effectively failed to operate”. 

Miss Rosser’s father Julian criticised Vance Miller, a health and safety   expert who inspected the building in 2005 and 2008. 

“The fire risk assessment you did was factually incorrect,” Mr Rosser told Mr   Miller. “It has mistakes in it. There are no fire extinguishers in the   building. 

“Why did you not make a note if that? You have given a building a clean bill   of health when it didn’t deserve one.”

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‘She put the life of others before her own’: Boyfriend’s tribute to young architect killed in fire – Wales Online

Ms Hassell said the fire quickly spread because the apartment’s self-closing fire door was damaged and got stuck on the floor.

In the confusion of the thick black smoke, Miss Rosser went to the fourth floor – the floor below her own flat on the fifth – where the fire was raging and was overcome by the powerful flames.

She quickly fell unconscious and died in hospital later that day from her burns.

The coroner hit out at a string of failures in the fire safety of the block of flats – which she said was partly to blame for the tragedy.

And she said Miss Rosser’s death could have been avoided if the self-closing fire door was functioning as it should have been.

She said she had “considered very, very carefully the potential contribution to this sad story of the building itself and the procedures in place to deal with fire”.

She added: “If the door to flat 101 had been shut the fire would have been very significantly contained until the fire brigade arrived.

“And I think it would have allowed all the occupants to have made good their escape.

“The fire brigade came quickly. The fire door was a good one and it would have kept the fire back.”

The inquest heard claims the tenant had complained about the door, but it had not been fixed. 

She added: “The one thing that would have made the world of difference, other than the fire not being started in the first place, is if the door to flat 101 (where the fire broke out) had been closed.”

The coroner said she had considered making a prevention of future deaths report by writing to the authorities with recommendations for safety improvements.

But she ruled this out because she could not think of a concrete recommendation she should make that would “prevent a tragedy for the future”.

One Response to “Coroner: Open Fire Door Resulted in Death”

  1. David says:

    It is regrettable anytime someone loses their life. I have no doubt that there was considerable negligence by the inspectors and others responsible for fire protection in the building. However, the victim did not die because of defective or absent fire protection. The victim died because she knowingly entered a building on fire. It is tragic but there is a lesson to be learned here. Get out, stay out!

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