2007 – Penhallow Hotel

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On the night of 18 August 2007, Cornwall County Fire Brigade (CCFB) was called to the hotel after smoke was seen in the building. The first crew arrived at 12.26am when they found the building engulfed in flames. Within one hour, all four floors collapsed.

Over 80 guests and members of staff managed to escape, but three people died and five more were injured, making it the worst hotel fire in Britain for 40 years.

BRE experts were commissioned to assist the CCFB investigation, to review the CCFB Fire Investigation Reports, and to carry out computer modelling to assist the understanding of the development of the fire. These findings were presented at the Inquest. There were some unusual features with this fire, and BRE took the opportunity to propose some additions to BS 9999:2008, which was then being finalised. These additions were incorporated.

Later, BRE provided the services of an expert witness by reviewing the fire safety risk assessment and supporting documents, for a prosecution under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) being brought by CCFB.

To read a news story about the fire click here.