People in Fellows Court banned from using rubbish chutes while police investigate ‘deliberate’ fire in store room

PUBLISHED: 16:23 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 04 July 2019

Fellows Court, left, on the Fellows Court Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock

Fellows Court, left, on the Fellows Court Estate. Picture: Polly Hancock


People in a Haggerston high-rise have been banned from using the rubbish chutes until an investigation into a “deliberate” fire in the binstore has ended.

A worrying handwritten letter outside the left in Fellows Court. Picture: Dave ColemanA worrying handwritten letter outside the left in Fellows Court. Picture: Dave Coleman

More than 100 people were forced out of their homes in Fellows Court, a 17-storey block on the Fellows Court Estate, when it was evacuated in the early hours of June 9.

Thankfully no one was hurt, and landlord Hackney Council wrote to tenants and leaseholders about the "understandably traumatic experience" the following day, saying an investigation was underway, but that it appeared to be arson.

Weeks later people are still being asked to carry their rubbish down to the bins outside the block.

A notice pinned up in the block states: "Until further notice please do not use the bin chutes. The binstore at the bottom is locked until the investigation into the cause of the fire is complete. This means any waste put down the chute cannot be removed."

The notice pinned up in Fellows Court. Picture: Dave ColemanThe notice pinned up in Fellows Court. Picture: Dave Coleman

To make matters worse, another notice has been pinned to the lift warning people not to use it. It states: "Lift dropped from 11th to 3rd. DO NOT GET IN."

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Hackney Council has rejected claims from one man the fire was started by drug users who frequent the bin store.

Long-term tenant Dave Coleman said: "I'm concerned that no lock was put on the bottom rubbish door when I've reported about drug users in the block.

"I believe the council and the police have fallen short in not dealing with these complaints and not making the area secure."

But a town all spokesperson said: "We delivered two letters and made door-to-door visits in the days immediately following the fire, and received no complaints or concerns about drug-taking in the bin store.

"A report from the London Fire Brigade outlined that Fellows Court was 'in generally good order with a good level of housekeeping to ensure the building was compliant with required regulations.'.

"We take resident concerns seriously, and encourage them to contact the council to report antisocial behaviour and the police to report any sort of crime. We always work with the police to tackle problems and crimes.

"The cause of the fire is still being investigated by police and the London Fire Brigade, until that is concluded we will not know whether the bin store was unlocked or vandalised."

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