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Burbage House: Neighbours at Hoxton block where fire wardens patrol at night urge landlord to replace dangerous cladding

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2017

Burbage House, where Islington and South Hackney Housing Association still needs to replace the cladding. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Burbage House, where Islington and South Hackney Housing Association still needs to replace the cladding. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

People in the only Hackney tower block whose cladding is similar to that on Grenfell Tower have urged their housing association to “get a move on” with making it safe.

Burbage House, where Islington and South Hackney Housing Association still needs to replace the cladding. Picture: Emma BartholomewBurbage House, where Islington and South Hackney Housing Association still needs to replace the cladding. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Wardens are patrolling seven-storey Burbage House in Poole Road, Hoxton, from 8pm to 8am to keep an eye on the building because of its aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding with unmodified polyethylene filler and stonewall insulation, which has been shown in tests to not adequately resist fire.

The devastating blaze that broke out at Grenfell Tower in June is thought to have spread through the 24-storey Kensington block at least partly because of its cladding, leaving 80 or more dead.

Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) has appointed Probin Miers forensic architects to give professional advice on what steps can be taken.

But residents – and the Gazette – have not been told how long it might be until the work is completed.

One tenant said fire alarms have been installed in her home this week, which will connect with those in other homes.

But she warned ISHA she would not let them “fob her off” with them, and would be chasing them up to make sure the cladding gets sorted.
She said: “Obviously I want it done as soon as possible. They prolong it – we had problems with our brand spanking new lifts.

“They were constantly breaking down for five years since this place was built, and it’s only just been done.

“Things go on and on and they never do it quick but this has got to be done. If it’s got to be replaced then we want it done now.”

Another ground floor tenant said when her fire alarm broke down last year, an ISHA contractor was unable to fix it and switched it off at the mains.

“They were turned off for eight months, because they kept beeping out of the blue,” she said.

“It was reported on their system, but they didn’t do anything about it which I found shocking. They are very slow to fix problems and I had to get in a private contractor to fix it.”

Chief executive Clare Thomson said: “Customer safety is our highest priority. We have written on a regular basis to customers and held meetings to keep everyone updated about fire safety issues.”

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