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23 April 2015
A fire which spread through the Randolph Hotel in Oxford has been attributed to “too much cognac in a saucepan" as chefs flambéed beef, according to hotel manager, Michael Grange.
The chefs were able to quell the fire in the kitchen, but the flames escaped up a vent and quickly spread to all four floors and the roof of the 150-year old building.
80 guests - including a wedding party - and staff were successfully evacuated from the premises without any injuries.
Although the majority of the hotel was unaffected by the damage, it is estimated that the repair bill will run into the millions of pounds.
Assistant chief fire officer, Simon Furlong, said: "It appears the fire spread to the first floor and then jumped outside the building in a chimney effect.
"There was a three-sided external gap and it jumped up to the roof area. It was fairly lucky it didn't get in to the internal workings of the hotel.”
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.