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Woolworth's Store, Piccadilly, Manchester (Fire)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what account he has taken of the findings of the coroner's inquest into the fire last May at Woolworth's, Piccadilly, Manchester, in considering his Department's draft regulations on polyurethane upholstery; what action he has taken or is taking; and if he will make a statement.

My decision to proceed with the preparation of the Upholstered Furniture (Safety) Regulations was influenced by an awareness of all the hazards presented by modern upholstered furniture if it is ignited, including the limited time available for escape to which the Manchester city coroner alluded during the inquest on the victims of the fire last May at the Manchester branch of Woolworths. The draft regulations will be re-laid before Parliament shortly.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is being kept informed of the scope and progress of the inquiry by a sub-committee of the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Councils into the circumstances and implications of the fire last May at Woolworth's, Piccadilly, Manchester; and if he will make a statement.

My officials are being kept fully informed of the progress of this inquiry. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department will be making a statement when it has been completed.