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Fire, Bolton (Inspectors' Reports)

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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74.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has yet considered the re port of Her Majesty's Inspectors upon the circumstances of the fire at Crown Street, Bolton, on 1st May, 1961; whether he will now order a public inquiry to be held; and whether he will make a statement.

I have considered Her Majesty's Inspectors' reports, which deal fully with the facts of the disaster. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. The circumstances will be subject to inquiry at the coroner's inquest. On the information before me it seems that the action taken by the fire brigade was prompt and as effective as the difficult circumstances allowed. I am not yet in a position to make a decision about a further inquiry but I do not underrate the gravity of the case, and I am considering as a matter of urgency whether the law relating to fire prevention, and in particular means of escape, in premises of this kind needs strengthening.