Safety should be the legacy of Rosepark tragedy

14 residents died when fire broke out at Rosepark Care Home in Viewpark 10 years ago.
14 residents died when fire broke out at Rosepark Care Home in Viewpark 10 years ago.

Following the tenth anniversary of the fatal Rosepark Care Home fire the Scottish Parliament recently debated fire safety in care homes.

MSPs evaluated current fire safety guidelines and whether lessons have been learned since the tragedy in 2004, which claimed the lives of 14 residents.

Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon secured a members’ business debate which called for an awareness campaign to help duty holders responsible for care homes to understand the requirements placed on them by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

He said: “Fourteen elderly people lost their lives in that appalling event.

“When they should have been safe and secure, they were not; when they should have been protected, they were not; when they put their trust in others, they were robbed of their final years, their families were bereaved and the community was left in shock.

“It was therefore with my deepest sympathy and respect for their memory that I lodged the motion I hope the Parliament and the Scottish Government will agree that we owe it to the memory of all those who lost their lives to act decisively to prevent further fires.

“Although much has been done, more remains to be achieved in the area of fire risk assessment. Let us take matters forward so that we can all be confident in saying that everything possible, everything imaginable, everything practical and everything sensible is in hand to prevent another such tragedy.”

In 2011 a fatal accident inquired ruled ‘some or all’ the deaths at Rosepark could have been prevented if a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire safety plan had been in place.

Attempts to prosecute the home’s owners, Thomas and Anne Balmer and their son Alan, over alleged safety breaches, collapsed in 2007 and again in 2008.