Defiant Camden tower block residents ordered to leave their homes

Marie Harrington
June 26, 2017

A resident with belongings leaves Burnham Tower residential block on the Chalcots Estate in north London.

He said: "The decision by Camden Council to evacuate four of the five towers on the Chalcots Estate was because the failed testing of the external cladding was compounded by multiple other fire safety failures which the fire inspection team found within the buildings".

Work had been due to begin on stripping cladding from buildings on the Chalcots Estate, but Camden Council ordered the "decant" of residents on Friday evening following further checks by the London Fire Brigade.

Some 60 high-rise buildings in 25 local authorities across the country have now failed fire cladding safety tests after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Government has said.

All residents affected by the Chalcots evacuations are welcome to join us at the Swiss Cottage Community Centre between 12:30 and 14:30 today to celebrate Eid.

Thousands of people have been displaced after they were evacuated from their high-rise homes in London with many facing another night of uncertainty over where they will stay. Around 20 families wanted to stay put, but council leader Georgia Gould say they must leave.

Investigation has revealed that the deadly Grenfell Tower fire, which has claimed at least 79 lives, was started by a Hotpoint fridge-freezer before spreading to the building's combustible cladding. But the management organization opted for the installation of aluminum cladding made with pure polyethylene, which is banned on tall buildings in the United States and other European countries because of its reputation as a fire hazard.

The blocks are four of 60 so far which have been found to have the flammable cladding similar to that feared to have played a key role in spreading the flames at Grenfell Tower in Kensington last week.

Outside one of the leisure centers, evacuees accused the authorities of sowing "panic".

"All landlords and fire and rescue services for these local authorities have been alerted to the results and we are in touch with all of them to support and monitor follow-up action", they said. I've got three children, 11-year-old, nine years old and one and a half.

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"We have been offered a hotel in Wembley now".

Ms Ikran was one of the few who were able to be taken to a hotel but she said she can not stay there without being able to feed her children - regardless of the £100 food and expenses allowance which has been allocated to each displaced family.

"We asked again and again and they gave us all different reasons".

Renee Williams, 90, who has lived in Taplow Tower since 1968, told Britain's Press Association: "No official came and told us what's going on".

"It was perfectly safe before, despite what they are saying now - I believe I am safe in there".

Those who have evacuated are now preparing to spend a second night out of their homes. "It's an experience, but it's getting settled in again though", he said.

Residents in more than 850 flats have been told cladding will be removed from their tower blocks.

"It was a shock really, it happened so quick".

The Prime Minister who is now in Brussels for Brexit negotiations took to Twitter to express her sympathies.

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

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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