Northampton Crown Court heard that Ajit Singh had disconnected the battery in the only smoke alarm in the house of multiple occupancy (HMO) where Mateusz Wlodarczyk lived. The boy succumbed to smoke inhalation after a fire was sparked in a downstairs bedroom by an electrical fault in May last year.
According to the Northants Telegraph the forensic investigator told the inquest into the boy’s death that the fire had started in a lodger’s bedroom downstairs while he was at work. Although the lodger had only one plug socket in his bedroom, he had 11 appliances connected to it, using a network of connected multi-adapters. The most likely cause of the fire was a faulty wire.
According to the Daily Mail the front door could only be opened from the inside with a key, preventing the occupants from escaping quickly.
HMOs should by law have mains-powered smoke alarm systems, heat detectors, and fitted fire doors, and the responsible person should have completed a fire risk assessment.