London homes evacuated on fire issues

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 25, 2017

(Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP).

Around 600 tower blocks are enclosed in potentially deadly cladding, with councils in Manchester, Portsmouth and London all announcing they were to immediately remove cladding from 13 structures.

The Camden Council chose to empty about 800 households in five buildings it owns on Friday.

Many people gathered at a nearby leisure center used as a temporary shelter complained about the chaotic situation. Some refused to leave.

Camden Council said people in four towers on the Chalcots estate were moved for "urgent fire safety works".

The evacuation was prompted by the fact that the external cladding of the five towers in the estate, were similar to the one that triggered the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, presumed to have killed 79 people.

LONDON, June 24 Six emails sent by and to an Arconic Inc sales manager raise questions about why the company supplied combustible cladding to a distributor for use at Grenfell Tower, despite publicly warning such panels were a fire risk for tall buildings.

The council called the operation "unprecedented in scale for Camden".

Once the flats are evacuated, the external thermal cladding from five tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate will be removed.

Frank notes that officials estimate it will take three to four weeks to make the buildings safe.

Thousands have already been evacuated from their homes in Camden, north London, although other local authorities will make their own decisions based on the nature of their area's housing stock. "Grenfell changed everything, and when told our blocks were unsafe to remain in, we acted".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described the failed tests as a "nationwide threat" as he urged the Prime Minister to convene the Government's emergency committee to provide a "national response".

"Why have they left it till half past eight on Friday night to start getting residents out?" Others were being put up in hotels or other housing projects.

The council will retro-fit this fire safety measure in all its tower blocks of 10 storeys and above.

Pilgrim Tucker, an organiser working with Grenfell Action Group and in contact with residents at the hotel said: "It's beyond disgusting that after all these people have been through - losing their neighbours and watching their homes burn to the ground - authorities are prepared to tell them that they have hours to pick up their bags and move to some unknown destination, separated from their friends and neighbours".

"We want to identify all those who died as result of the fire at Grenfell Tower, and that is where I need the public's help", McCormack said. I saw it on the TV, so I packed an overnight bag.

"They should have done it in a proper and organised way, we could have arranged to stay with our family", she added.

"But why now? At 4pm today they said it would be okay and that all the checks were fine". Other residents were distraught that they were ordered to evacuate but were told to leave their pets behind in buildings that could be unsafe.

Referring to the tiles and insulation on the outside of the building, which have been widely blamed for the rapid spread of the flames, she said: "All I can say at the moment is they don't pass any safety tests".

British police have said they are considering bringing manslaughter charges over the Grenfell fire.

"We are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards", Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters. McCormack said the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer had not been subject to any product recalls before the fire.

Hotpoint said on Friday that "words can not express our sorrow at this awful tragedy" and added it was working with authorities to examine the appliance.

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