26 September 2023

QFES fires up against fire risk pair

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Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has successfully prosecuted the owners of an illegal and unsafe budget accommodation building in Caboolture.

Hahn Thi Quach and Tuan Anh Le pleaded guilty in the Caboolture Magistrates Court to 29 building fire safety offences, including failure to have a safety management plan and failure to have an appropriate early warning system.

The defendants were fined $28,000 each plus $1,500 in costs. They also received two months imprisonment wholly suspended for 12 months, with a conviction recorded.

It is the third time QFES has successfully prosecuted the pair for similar offences at the Caboolture location.

The presiding Magistrate condemned the actions of the pair, saying they showed a blatant disregard for anyone but themselves.

Commissioner for QFES, Greg Leach (pictured) said the Agency took action against the pair after they repeatedly failed to meet fire safety standards, despite QFES officers inspecting the premises five times in three months.

“Building fire safety standards are in place to save lives and property, so it is essential operators prioritise safety over profit,” Mr Leach said.

“In this instance, the owners repeatedly ignored directives from QFES Safety Assessment Officers to install working smoke alarms and emergency lighting, erect appropriate evacuation signage and to develop a fire safety management plan.”

He said that by failing to install the appropriate fire safety systems, the owners were effectively gambling with the lives of their tenants.

Mr Leach said QFES would continue to target illegal and unsafe budget accommodation buildings.

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