Fire exit padlock shocks officer

Senior Station Officer Pete Douglas, of Dunedin, was shocked to find a padlocked fire exit door...
Senior Station Officer Pete Douglas, of Dunedin, was shocked to find a padlocked fire exit door in a central city apartment building yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A padlocked fire exit above Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant in the Octagon had potentially fatal consequences, a senior firefighter says.

Two fire crews responded to what turned out to be a false alarm at the address about 4.30pm yesterday but found a padlocked emergency exit.

Senior Station Officer Pete Douglas, of Dunedin, said had it not been a false alarm, "it wouldn't have been pretty''.

"Anybody that's living in a building like this, it is illegal to lock or padlock fire exit doors,'' he said.

Both the wine bar and the downstairs Mac's Brew Bar had patrons on the premises at the time of the alarm.

It was becoming more common for firefighters to find locked fire exits in central city flats, Mr Douglas said.

The door was also not marked as a fire exit and it was the landlord's responsibility to ensure it was, he said.

The flat was unoccupied at the time of the false alarm. Mr Douglas believed it had been locked by a previous tenant.

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