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Praise for fire deaths investigation

Investigative journalism by the Glasgow Evening Times has been praised by a Scottish legal expert.

A campaign by the paper, after the death of two students in a city flat which had no smoke detector, led to a change in the law to tighten safety standards.

At the fatal accident inquiry, Sheriff Charles McFarlane QC was asked to commend the Evening Times for its exposure of the Glasgow students’ death flat scandal.

Depute Fiscal John Service said the circumstances of the boys’ deaths behind barred windows had been “brought into the public domain by good investigative journalism”.

The hearing found that the lives of James Fraser and Daniel Heron, both 20, might have been saved if working smoke detectors had been in the basement flat.

The newspaper reported in the same story how it had discovered that the landlord has since rented the flat out to another student.

It said that the inquiry heard how a dismantled smoke alarm had been found lying discarded on top of a freezer in the flat where the men perished.

Mr Service urged the sheriff to recommend new laws brought in by the Scottish Executive regarding multiple occupancy of flats to be implemented by the city council in a “robust manner”.

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