A kebab house was fined £120,000 for breaching fire safety regulations.

And the director of Abingdon takeaway Sami’s Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway responsible for fire safety was given six months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

Oxford Crown Court heard Mustafa Dumanli, 47, had agreed in 2011 to install a number of fire safety measures, including putting sprinklers in the kitchen, safety lights and fire doors, as part of renovation works to the 100-year-old three-storey building in Ock Street.

Fire officers were concerned as staff would sometimes sleep in bedrooms on the second floor. The primary escape route would take staff through the main kitchen – although it was also possible to get through a first floor window onto a flat roof above the kitchen.

The building works were signed off by council officers in 2011.

Kristiina Reed, for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said a fire safety inspection in November 2019 had revealed a number of flaws.

Sprinkler heads in the kitchen had been removed and holes filled in with plaster around 10 days before the visit. First floor rooms were used to store highly-flammable materials like cooking oil. And the doors protecting staff members’ main escape route – the central stairway – were normal wooden doors rather than heavy fire doors capable of stopping flames for 30 minutes.

The court was told that Dumanli had removed the sprinkler system around a week and a half before the 2019 inspection after issues with it malfunctioning and drenching the kitchen in water.

His barrister, Laura Phillips, said that since the inspection the business had spent thousands of pounds on improving fire safety at the premises, had hired an independent fire consultant and he and the co-director of the company had received fire warden training.

A fire officer from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service visited the business last summer and signed off the improvement works.

Ms Phillips made it clear that people would not be sleeping upstairs when the kitchen was running.

Dumanli had no previous convictions and the business, which he had run with his brother for more than two decades, had an impeccable food hygiene record.


Samis Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: Google

Sami's Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: Google


Sami's Barbeque, Abingdon Picture: GOOGLE


Upstairs rooms at Samis Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: OFRS

Upstairs rooms at Sami's Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: OFRS


One of the upstairs rooms at the takeaway Picture: OFRS


Upstairs rooms at Samis Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: OFRS

Upstairs rooms at Sami's Barbeque and Pizza Takeaway Pictures: OFRS


Rooms on the first floor were used for storage Picture: OFRS

Judge Michael Gledhill QC said: “Over the years the defendant Mustafa Dumanli in charge of fire safety undertook annual fire risk assessments. What he did was simply not enough and was inadequate but it has to be said that there were no difficulties between 2011 and 2019.

“It is significant that when one looks at the hygiene condition of the kitchen and the way the business was run it was high quality; top quality, in fact.

“Regrettably, the fire safety aspect was totally disregarded, no doubt the directors believing that as they had had approval in 2011 all was well.

“But things were not well, because from time to time it appears that the sprinkler system malfunctioned causing havoc to the kitchen and its contents including destroying food.

“So, the decision was taken in November 2019 to remove the sprinkler system. I accept that the defendant and his brother and the company had not thought through the consequences of that decision. Had they given it the slightest thought they would have realised that the risk of fire was considerably enhanced by removing the sprinkler system.

“But they didn’t think and so not only was it removed but the holes in the ceiling through which the sprinkler was inserted were filled in and painted.”

He added: “The consequences could have been appalling.”

Dumanli and DUB Catering Ltd, of Ock Street, Abingdon, admitted four breaches of the fire safety regulations.

The director received six months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, while the company was fined £120,000. Each must pay £2,350 in costs.