Tensions mount as residents refuse to leave unsafe Camden tower blocks

Ivan Schwartz
June 26, 2017

According to reports, some 4,000 residents were forced on Friday to evacuate their homes in north London after the fire brigade ruled that their blocks were unsafe.

Test results on building materials in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster have revealed that 60 high-rise blocks in 25 areas of England are unsafe, the British government confirmed.

Chalcots Estate resident Mandy Ryan said she felt intimidated and "bullied" by security as she tried to exit the building which the local council are trying to evacuate amid concerns over its cladding.

Five buildings failed the test in Sunderland; four in Manchester; three in Plymouth; three in Stockton-on-Tees; two in Portsmouth; one each in Doncaster and Norwich.

An angry resident has confronted the Leader of Camden Council over its decision to evacuate her from her home in the Chalcot Estate and rehouse her in a bed and breakfast with her four small children.

Ms Gould said Camden Council has committed £100,000 of funds to pay for food, refreshments and other essential items which displaced residents need.

We couldn't pack anything because we didn't know where we are going, but hopefully we will get back and have a chance.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid urged local authorities and housing associations to continue to submit samples "as a matter of urgency" amid a nationwide safety operation launched after at least 79 people died when fire ripped through Grenfell Tower in north Kensington on June 14.

In London, Islington, Lambeth and Wandsworth are now also named as areas with "at risk" buildings, alongside Barnet, Brent, Camden and Hounslow.

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HUNDREDS of council tenants have been warned to expect door knocks through the night as officials attempted to force them to leave tower blocks which are deemed unsafe.

The manufacturer of the insulation used to clad Grenfell Tower has said it will stop using the product on high-rise buildings.

Ms Gould explained some residents have issues, including agoraphobia, and want to be sure they have got suitable accommodation before moving out of their flats.

Experts have described a "chimney effect" in the exterior cladding, which saw the fire drawn up through a cavity between the interior of the building and the exterior cladding. "I just don't believe we can take any risk with our residents' safety, and I have to put them first". The fire rapidly spread through the outside of the building as panel after panel of the aluminum cladding covering the building caught flames.

"My thoughts are with residents being evacuated in Camden while their homes are made safe tonight", she said via her official UK Prime Minister account.

All "complete bodies" have been removed from the wreckage but there remains "a awful reality that we may not find or identify everyone who died due to the intense heat", she said.

"In some cases it's possible to take mitigating action", she told Sky news.

"I think it's very important and an an appropriate time that we review our standards and controls in regards to approving these buildings".

Other reports by GizPress

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