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Illegal gas fitter 'put families at risk'

A fireplace firm director and gas fitter have been fined for carrying out potentially life-threatening work in six homes, the BBC has reported.

Varcurn Marble director Lee Curnow contracted Mark Lawson, an unregistered gas fitter, to install gas fires.

Lawson worked in six homes in the Camborne, Redruth, Truro and Helston areas between January 2012 and October 2013.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it launched an investigation after a Gas Safe-registered engineer found significant failings in the work carried out by Lawson, following reports of fumes from a gas fire at one of the properties.

The HSE said of six gas fires installed by Lawson, four were classed as immediately dangerous. This means that if operated or left connected to a gas supply, there would be immediate danger to life or property.

One was classed “at risk”, with one or more faults that could constitute a danger to life or property.

The sixth had a previously reported gas leak following work by Lawson, which would be classed as ‘immediately dangerous’.

The HSE said on at least two occasions, Lawson falsely claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register by using the registration name and number of a properly registered gas engineer on the commissioning documents for fires he installed.

The the pair appeared at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court in Cornwall, where Curnow was fined £10,000 and Lawson fined £10,666.

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