Investigation launched following blaze in Hackney tower block
PUBLISHED: 11:55 09 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:03 09 July 2014
An investigation has been launched after smoke alarms allegedly failed to go off when a blaze broke out in an 11-storey residential block.
The London Fire Brigade is also urging residents to become familiar with fire evacuation procedures in tower blocks after some residents suffered smoke inhalation trying to escape down smoke-filled stairwells.
The blaze started on the first floor of the Nye Bevan building, on the Clapton Park estate, Millfields Road, on Friday, June 27.
Residents reported that a dust rag covered in paint caught light in the first-floor corridor, generating a huge amount of smoke.
The fire brigade was only called after Angela Wild, a resident on the first floor where the fire broke out, notified the concierge in reception.
She could smell smoke in her home and eventually realised it was coming from the corridor.
She locked her dog on her balcony and braved the smoke to get downstairs – with a broken foot – to raise the alarm, suffering smoke burns to her throat.
Many residents were not aware a fire had broken out because only one smoke alarm went off in Ms Wild’s home.
The incident is now being reviewed by the Clapton Park Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), which manages the block, and the report will be shared with Hackney Homes.
Michael James, who was visiting a friend, was about to leave as the fire broke out.
He said: “I tried to run down the stairs but couldn’t because of the smoke. I was terrified, I thought I can’t use the lift, but if I go down the stairs I’ll be running into it.
“I stayed where I was until the fire brigade gave all the all clear.
“People were panicking, they were even using the lift to get out rather than the staircase.”
A Hackney Homes spokesman said: “We can confirm the Clapton Park Tenant Management Organisation has fire safety plans that are checked on behalf of Hackney Homes by an approved life safety risk assessor.
“The last fire assessment was on October 2 2013. The next one is scheduled for August.”
Managers at the TMO declined to comment.
The London Fire Brigade’s campaign ‘Know the Plan’ urges residents of high-rise blocks to be familiar with fire evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.
For more information see knowtheplan.co.uk.
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