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More than 80 stay put as tower blocks evacuated over cladding fears

24 Juin 2017

The Camden Council in London made the call to remove the residents on Friday - saying they would be taking off the external thermal cladding at all five towers.

Following extensive joint visits and inspections the Brigade advised that there were a number of fire safety issues in the buildings and recommended that residents should not remain in the buildings until these issues are resolved.

"The Grenfell fire changes everything", said Camden Council leader Georgia Gould. I know that there are over 100 hotels rooms that are waiting for people.

Camden Council said it chose to evacuate the buildings on the Chalcots Estate after fire inspectors told officials they couldn't guarantee the safety of residents.

Hundreds of further high-rise buildings are being tested by the Government to see if they pose a fire threat in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. Fourteen apartment blocks have so far tested positive for combustible materials.

"I don't think this is the right thing to do, I feel safe here and I don't think there's any threat to our building".

Amid chaotic scenes, residents clutching children, pets and small amounts of clothing and food emerged from five tower blocks to sleep on air beds in a local sports center after hearing on the news that their buildings were being evacuated.

"No official came and told us what's going on, I saw it on the TV so I packed an overnight bag", she told the Press Association. "Obviously we wanted to help".

"We're not moving. We can't just take all our family and stuff".

She added that she has asked Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to keep her regularly updated and "ensure we are offering every support we can to residents & those working onsite".

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "My thoughts are with residents being evacuated in Camden while their homes are made safe tonight". The people who lived in the five towers are being encouraged to stay with friends and family, but Council's offered to provide temporary accommodation if that isn't possible.

Manslaughter charges possible over Grenfell as 800 London households evacuated for safety
The Fire Brigade have, in the last hour, given us their assurance that due to these measures, the building is safe for residents". Heartbreaking messages written on red London Fire Brigade T-shirts offer poignant tributes alongside flowers, toys and candles.

At a briefing on the June 14 blaze in west London, Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said that in view of the heavy death toll, police were considering manslaughter charges over the disaster. Nevertheless, the manufacturer was doing further tests, and the United Kingdom government has ordered an immediate technical examination of the model.

Yesterday the authorities confirmed that a Hotpoint fridge freezer was the cause of the Grenfell tower fire.

May said Friday that "she will work with and support the emergency services and relevant authorities to safeguard the public".

In total, 800 homes are expected to be evacuated due to the safety concerns.

She added that equivalent aluminum composite tiles used as cladding in a recent refurbishment of the building had failed initial safety tests.

"Preliminary tests show the insulation samples collected from Grenfell Tower combusted soon after the test started".

Brian, who lives on the fifth floor of Taplow tower, said: "It's a weird time to kick people out, especially as it's most children's bedtime".

CEP Architectural Facades said in a statement: "Individually, these materials can be integrated into a safe cladding system but certainly we recommend that in high-rise buildings class 0 rainscreen panels should only be used in conjunction with a non-combustible insulation material such as mineral fibre".

The use of the cladding was restricted here on January 1 after it was also blamed for fires in Melbourne and Dubai apartments. At least one hotel chain is calling in experts to make certain its properties meet safety regulations.

McCormack's comments followed a pledge by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to seek an amnesty for people who may have been living in the tower illegally. "We play the FA Community Shield on Sunday 6 August for the victims and the heroes of this bad tragedy".