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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Police quiz fire care home owners
Rosepark nursing home
The nursing home where the elderly residents died
Police have questioned the owners of a Lanarkshire care home where 14 elderly people died in a fire last year.

Strathclyde Police said 58-year-old Tom Balmer and his wife Anne, 57, were allowed home after assisting officers for about six hours.

In a brief statement, the couple said they had been invited to help police with their investigation.

The fire in the Rosepark Home in Uddingston on 31 January 2004 led to new rules on sprinklers in care homes.

The husband and wife were detained under section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, which allows police to question them for a maximum of six hours before they must be released or charged.

The results of the police interviews will be sent to the procurator fiscal in Hamilton.

Open doors

Heavy smoke from a small fire in a linen cupboard is believed to have been the cause of the tragedy.

Many of the residents who died were sleeping with their bedroom doors open.

The Balmers
The Balmers on the day of the fire at the home

Surviving pensioners were taken to other nursing homes throughout Lanarkshire but moved back in September after North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Care Commission, which regulates nursing homes, said they were satisfied with the repairs.

About 80% of Scotland's care homes for the elderly were told to improve fire safety after the tragedy.

The Balmers have said, via their lawyer, that they were "pleased and relieved to have been able to return home without any charges against them".

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02 Feb 04 |  Scotland
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01 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Inquiry into nursing home deaths
31 Jan 04 |  Scotland

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