London council evacuates residents amid fire safety concerns

Jun 24, 2017, 00:13

Officials to evacuate London high-rise over safety concerns triggered by fatal fire in building with similar experior.

Ms Gould said it was expected the work would take three or four weeks, adding: "We realise that this is hugely distressing for everyone affected and we will be doing all we can, alongside the London Fire Brigade and other authorities, to support our residents at this hard time".

Some 800 households will be evacuated Friday night in the Camden area of London, according to Councillor Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council.

London police are considering filing manslaughter charges related to the fire at a west London apartment tower that killed at least 79 people.

She added: 'Together we decided that the Taplow block needs to be temporarily decanted while we undertake urgent fire safety works so that residents can be fully assured of their safety.

She said police had established that the initial cause of the blaze was a fridge-freezer in a flat at the fourth level and that the fire was not started deliberately, Xinhua news agency reported.

They will be moved to temporary housing, which includes hotels and homes of friends and family. The city council met yesterday with fire chiefs and housing associations, and reported that further safety tests are being carried out at 28 low to high rise blocks to look at related issues such as sprinkler systems, fire breaks, evacuation plans and fire alarms.

The overnight fire rapidly engulfed Grenfell Tower, with flames shooting up the outside of the building, raising concerns that the cladding material attached to the concrete block didn't comply with fire-safety rules. McCormack said the Hotpoint model FF175BP refrigerator-freezer had not been subject to any product recalls before the fire.

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack told reporters that "we are looking at every criminal offense from manslaughter onwards". "We are looking at all health and safety and fire safety offenses, and we are reviewing every company at the moment involved in the building and refurbishment of Grenfell Tower".

Preliminary tests on the samples of insulation showed it burned soon after the test started, and more quickly than the cladding tiles.

Towers in Camden, Manchester, Hounslow and Plymouth are among the at-risk buildings, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed.

Police says 79 people are either dead or missing and presumed dead in the blaze, although that number may change.

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