Tally of high-rise buildings to fail cladding safety test rises to 34

Mr Javid explained that the decision to evacuate four towers on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, north London, was taken because a failed cladding test had been "compounded by multiple other fire safety failures".

"There are various legal routes that Camden Council could explore to require people to leave their homes - however, we really don't want to do this", she said.

The concrete apartment building had been extensively renovated recently, with the work including a new coating of exterior insulation.

"Following extensive joint visits and inspections, the brigade advised that there were a number of fire-safety issues in the buildings and recommended that residents should not remain in the buildings until these issues were resolved", the brigade said in a statement. Attention has focused on the 24-story tower's external cladding material, which has been blamed for the rapid spread of that blaze.

Another resident said his family would also be staying put despite being told their building had failed fire safety tests as they had nowhere else to go.

THE government has U-turned on plans to relax fire safety standard in schools after the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

Edward Strange, who lives on the 11th floor of the Taplow Tower, was on his way to the airport when he heard about the evacuation on the radio and returned to find council workers in neon security vests directing residents to a nearby community centre, where they were offered air beds on a badminton court.

In its most detailed briefing yet on the criminal investigation, the Metropolitan Police on Friday confirmed residents' suspicions that the inferno at Grenfell was touched off by a refrigerator fire. The buildings evacuated Friday are all part of government-run, low-priced public housing developments, as was the one that burned last week.

Britain has been rocked in recent days by a fire which killed at least 79 people when it engulfed a 24-storey building in west London on 14 June.

The Government says 34 high-rise blocks of flats in 17 local authority areas have failed fire cladding safety tests ordered following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been criticized for her slow response to the Grenfell tragedy, said Saturday that the government was supporting Camden officials to ensure residents have somewhere to stay while building work is done.

Ms Gould said the fire service "told us they could not guarantee our residents' safety in those blocks". "In others it's been necessary for people to move out on a temporary basis and that is what happened in Camden last night".

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, she said: "We've had a huge effort overnight to evacuate people".

"I know some residents are angry and upset, but I want to be very clear that Camden Council acted to protect them".

And in a video posted on Camden Council's Twitter feed, Bob O'Toole, the chair of the Chalcots Estate tenants and residents' association, said: "Nobody's going to be forced to leave and nobody's going to be dragged out kicking and screaming". Other residents were distraught that they were ordered to evacuate, but were told to leave their pets behind in buildings that could be risky.

Earlier Friday, police said they were considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster.

The Government has ordered an immediate examination of the refrigerator model that started the blaze - the Hotpoint model FF175BP.

  • Leroy Wright