asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that three women lost their lives in a fire which occurred in the back room of a stationer's shop in Bradford recently, and that, at the inquest, it was stated that the windows were barred, making escape impossible; and whether he will take steps to enable him to deal with the storage of highly inflammable goods and goods with a low flash point on premises over which at present no supervision can be exercised by the police or fire prevention officers or civil authorities, to prevent a repetition of such disasters.
Reports on this tragic fire are before me, including a report on the inquest, and I should like first to express my sympathy with the relatives of the three women employees who were asphyxiated. Some recommendations on means of escape from fires in shops and warehouses, both generally and where explosive or highly inflammable material is stored or used, were made in the Report of the Departmental Committee on Health, Welfare and Safety in Non-Industrial Premises and the Government have these recommendations under consideration. Further, the Explosives Act, 1875, requires registration with the local authority, compliance with rules and inspection of premises, where explosives, including fireworks, are kept and stored. The Bradford premises were of this kind and were accordingly registered. The question of whether there has been any infringement of statutory safeguards is being considered. I can assure my hon. Friend that measures to reduce the dangers revealed by this fire are being considered by me and, I understand, also by the Bradford fire authority.