UK fire safety crisis expands; Hundreds evacuated in London

It comes not long after at least 79 people lost thier lives in a blaze at London's Grenfell Tower, and the same day hundreds were forced from thier homes after safety inspections.

But 83 residents have refused to leave with many furious at the short notice given - some even finding out from the news rather than from the local authority.

"I know it's hard, but Grenfell changes everything", Camden Council chief Georgia Gould told reporters outside a complex of buildings known as Chalcots Estate on Friday.

Ms Davidson said she was rescued from an earlier fire at Taplow in 2012 by crews from Belsize fire station.

The statement read: "We have been made aware that the recent fire at Grenfell Tower in West London may have originated in a Hotpoint branded fridge freezer, manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009, model numbers FF175BP (white) and FF175BG (graphite)".

May said the local authority would be given all the means necessary to make sure people had somewhere to stay. Premier Inn said Friday it had "concerns" about the material used on some of its buildings, though it is different from the type used at Grenfell Tower.

The council added it was booking hotels but around 100 residents have spent the night on air beds in a leisure centre.

Meanwhile, the Grenfell Tower Response Team said 373 households are in emergency accommodation and £1,232,040 has been handed out to families affected by the disaster as of June 24 at 9am. So what we'll do is, we'll go down, we'll talk to the team.

"I've sat in a chair over here since 9 o'clock last night, I'm 72 years old". It happened so quick, I don't have the energy for that now.

One of the five buildings was later deemed to be safe enough for residents to return but four others remained out of bounds.

Casey Oppong, head of the tenants' association in the estate's Blashford tower blamed the use of multiple subcontractors for work on council tower blocks for putting fire safety at risk. Residents will be allowed in at the weekend to collect more possessions under escort from the fire brigade.

"Whilst we are clear that our cladding design and insulation significantly differs to that at Grenfell Tower, the external cladding panels did not satisfy our independent laboratory testing or the high standards we set for contractors", Gould said in a statement Thursday, adding that the council had made a decision to "immediately begin preparing to remove these external cladding panels".

Police said Friday they are considering filing manslaughter charges in the Grenfell disaster and they were conducting a wide-ranging investigation that will look at everything that contributed to it.

Fiona McCormack from the London police said that tiles and insulation on the outside of the building "don't pass any safety tests".

Refurbishment of the Chalcots Estate was overseen by Rydon, the company involved in the refit of Grenfell Tower, according to the Rydon website.

Last week, the number of people dead or missing presumed dead rose to 79. To encourage cooperation, prime minister Theresa May said the government won't penalise any fire survivors who were in the country illegally.

"At that point we had to move incredibly swiftly, we started door knocking, but obviously this was going out into the media very quickly, I had to make those statements, it was not how I'd like to do things".

  • Leroy Wright


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