BUILDING inspectors have been condemned for major failings over a block of flats in which two young jockeys died in a fire.
JHAI Building Control Ltd has been given a "very severe reprimand" by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) after issuing a "final certificate" for Buckrose Court, in Malton, North Yorkshire, without consulting the fire authority.
The approved building inspection firm should have consulted North Yorkshire Fire Service three times while the flats, were being built.
Apprentice jockeys Jan Wilson, 19, of Thirsk, and Jamie Kyne, 18, of County Galway, Ireland, died in a blaze at the flats, in September 2009.
Labourer Peter Brown, 39, was later jailed indefinitely after being convicted of starting the fire in the flats.
John Fort, chairman of North Yorkshire Fire Authority, said when JHAI’s error came to light it had sparked “grave concerns”.
An initial complaint was made by firefighters using JHAI’s internal complaints procedure, without, in the view of the fire authority, achieving a satisfactory outcome.
Consequently, the authority submitted a formal complaint concerning the conduct of JHAI to the Construction Industry Council (CIC).
A CIC disciplinary hearing has concluded there was “a very serious breach and the appropriate sanction was a very severe reprimand”.
JHAI's chairman Matt Read said while the flats did did comply with building regulations, there had been a "lapse in procedure" which had happened under the company's previous owners.
He said: "In consultation with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, we have undertaken a top-to-bottom review to ensure this type of procedural error could not happen today.
"The CIC has complimented us on the thoroughness of this review and on the staff training we have implemented. We approve more than 6,000 projects every year and this is the only time any kind of complaint against us has ever been upheld."