THE boss of one of Burnley’s best-known hotels has pleaded guilty to putting staff and residents at risk through a series of fire safety blunders.

The Crown Hotel, formerly known as the Keirby Park, was shut down in December 2017 after an inspection by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Burnley Council.

And now it has emerged that there were a string of problems with the hotel, ranging from a lack of fire detectors and alarms to missing smoke sensors and combustible materials being left on fire escape routes.

Burnley Crown Court was told that a sufficient fire risk assessment had also not been compiled and adequate fire doors had not been provided throughout the premises.

General maintenance and repair of the fire alarm system was also brought into question as a result of the joint inspection, the court heard.

Crown Hotel (Stone) Ltd, through defence barrister Frazer Livesey, pleaded guilty to failing to take general fire precautions as were reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of employees in case of fire, which failure placed one or more relevant persons at risk of serious injury or death.

Hotel director Salim Virani, 70, admitted to six offences under various fire safety regulations, each of which were said to have placed one or more people at risk of serious injury or death.

Not guilty pleas were entered to several other fire safety planning charges by Virani.

Prosecutor Joseph Hart said following the guilty plea by the company, those offences would not ultimately be pursued.

Judge Andrew Woolman ordered pre-sentence reports on Virani, who has two other hotels in the Staffordshire area, and bailed him until March 25.

The case against Crown Hotel (Stone) was adjourned to the same date.

Mr Livesey said he would provide company accounts and information for the next hearing.

First built by the former Massey Brewery in 1960, the hotel has changed hands repeatedly.

Until recently it served as halls of residence of the University College of Football Business (UCFB), along with the former Sparrow Hawk Hotel nearby, before their residential courses ceased in Burnley.

But latterly it has mainly provided accommodation for overseas workers and been used for storage.

Today it has changed its name again, this time to The Brunlea Hotel, and is believed to be running under new management.