London council evacuates residents amid fire safety concerns
A London community evacuated some 800 homes in five public apartment towers due to security concerns after a devastating fire that killed 79 people at a high altitude in west London last week.
The decision comes as residents of thousands of rounds around Britain were concerned about safety after commonly used materials were accused of rapidly propagating the flame Grenfell tower construction.
Council of Camden in north London who announced the evacuation last night was the first local government to overcome the dramatic step of emptying buildings so that security improvements can be made.
The head of the council, Georgia Gould, said the district had made the decision after the London fire brigade and council experts said they could not guarantee the safety of residents after inspecting the five towers.
The inspectors were in response to complaints from previously unknown security residents, he said.
“I decided very, very hard to move the people who live there in temporary accommodation while we do an urgent job to ensure security,” Gould told reporters outside the public housing complex. “I know this is difficult, but Grenfell changes everything.”
Public safety concerns were caused by external coatings known as aluminum composite panels, which are expected to quickly have spread the fire in Grenfell Tower on June 14, trapping residents in their homes before firefighters can not save them.
City councils across the UK are testing similar panels in hundreds of their buildings.
So far fourteen apartment blocks have tested positive for combustible materials.
However, some residents of the buildings in Camden, known collectively as the Chalcot Estate, expressed their frustration at the lack of information they received about the evacuation.
Edward Strange, who lives on the 11th floor of the Taplow Tower, was heading to the airport when he learned of the evacuation radio and again found security council employees on neon transfers that direct residents to a center Community.
“I think it’s an overreaction,” he told Sky News. “Or at least we should have the option.
If we wanted to leave, we should have the option to leave. But keep in mind that you have to go is just ridiculous. This is our house “.
British Prime Minister Theresa May offered a message of solidarity to affected residents, taking Twitter to commit to working with relevant authorities to provide support.
“I think the residents are evacuated in Camden, while their homes are safe tonight,” he said.
The Council encouraged residents to stay with friends and family, but promised to provide temporary housing if that was not possible.
Repairs to the building must be completed within three to four weeks.
The Board has reported that it had concerns about building lining Thursday when tests showed that the material was not the fire resistant variety it had ordered.
Hours earlier, police said they were considering filing charges of homicide in the Grenfell disaster.