The Wildwood restaurant chain found guilty of four charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following a fire safety inspection last month, after a complaint from a member of the public.

The South Street restaurant was fined £13,452 and ordered to pay £1,962 costs at Worthing Magistrates Court on May 27.

When fire safety officers visited the property a number of serious breaches where found.

They included obstructed fire exits, defective emergency lighting, the absence of a working fire alarm, dangerous electrics and a fire risk assessment that took no account of ongoing building work on the 2nd floor of the property where staff were sleeping.

The situation was so dangerous that a Prohibition Notice was instantly served on the premises, preventing its use as sleeping quarters.

Richard Bradley, business fire safety manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The property was being refurbished and the building work had overrun.

“The company made the decision to open, even though the fire alarm was not working and there were a number of serious fire safety issues. This is putting people’s lives at risk for the sake of profit and that simply isn’t acceptable.”

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