London homes evacuated in wake of Grenfell Tower fire

"And so I've made to really, really hard decision to move the people living there into temporary accommodation while we do the urgent works to guarantee safety", she said. "I'm going to inform the other residents", he told AFP.

Some city hall and town hall officials have already ordered cladding materials to be removed from buildings in their towns and cities, as residents in some high rise blocks saying they were now living in fear.

In an update on the Grenfell investigation, Fiona McCormack from the London police said: "We are looking at every criminal offence from manslaughter onwards". We look out the window and there are TV people everywhere. I don't know where we are going to go.

"This additional assessment work includes a sweep of corridors to make sure they are clear of obstructions and anything that is potentially flammable. The cost we can deal with later".

Several residential high-rise buildings in London are being evacuated because of fire safety concerns following a huge blaze at an apartment building that killed at least 79 people last week.

Camden Council will evacuate 161 households from a tower block tonight amid fire safety concerns.

Council leader Georgia Gould said the borough took the unusual step after the London Fire Brigade and council experts had conducted a joint inspection of the properties.

She said the government was "offering every support we can" to residents and officials working at the estate.

She said residents' safety could not be guaranteed.

"The scariest thing to know is that if it happened to Grenfell, it can happen to us", Oppong said.

Hamza Usman, 21, who lives in nearby Burnham Tower, said: "I found out that we have to evacuate through BBC News".

"I'm angry to an extent that they didn't tell us sooner". "Or at least we should be given the choice". "Obviously we wanted to help". But being told that we have to leave is just ridiculous.

Bob O'Toole from the residents' association said he had only been told about the evacuation about an hour earlier, adding: "We want to keep the residents safe - we don't want any more disasters".

Residents are being moved out tonight and sent initially to a rest centre at Swiss Cottage Library before council workers allocate them accommodation in hotels or, if possible, with family and friends.

Repairs on the building are expected to be completed within three to four weeks.

"London Fire Brigade officers will continue to work with Camden to put in place measures to improve safety for residents in these buildings".

The Metropolitan Police on Friday confirmed residents' suspicions that the June 14 inferno at Grenfell Tower was touched off by a refrigerator fire.

"Given the deaths of so many people, we are considering manslaughter as well as criminal offenses and breaches of legislation and regulations".

One of those buildings, Durham House - which is made up of one and two bedroom flats - has been found to have similar cladding to that on Grenfell Tower.

Britain also ordered an immediate technical examination of the Hotpoint fridge model FF175BP, which had not been subject to any recall to establish whether further action should be taken, but said there was no need for owners to switch off their appliances.

"Words can not express our sorrow at this awful tragedy", Whirlpool said in a statement.

Ms McCormack said police were trying to determine why the fire spread so rapidly.

The outside cladding engulfed by the blaze has since been shown to fail all safety tests, police said. She said: "What we are being told is that the cladding and the insulation failed all safety tests".

There are 79 people dead or missing presumed dead in the fire at the 24-storey tower block but hundreds of other residents who escaped the fire have lost their homes.

Camden is one of the councils in England which has learned that combustible cladding has been placed on buildings during renovation projects, rather than non-flammable cladding.

"As noted in those documents, any changes to components of the cladding system or construction methods used need to be considered by the relevant building designer".

Sky News Correspondent Paul Kelso said the insulation underneath the cladding was not the same as that used in Grenfell, which burned.

McCormack also repeated calls for anyone with information on who might have been in the tower to come forward.

McCormack's comments followed a pledge by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to seek an amnesty for people who may have been living in the tower illegally.

  • Leroy Wright