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Lessons are learned from Camberwell death blaze

PUBLISHED: 22:02 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 October 2010

HOUSING chiefs in London’s East End are carrying out safety checks at high rise blocks of flats in the wake of Saturday’s death blaze in Camberwell when two mums and their children died. Tower Hamlets housing chief Marc Francis has been looking at safety this week at similar tower dwellings

By Julia Gregory

HOUSING chiefs in London’s East End are carrying out safety checks at high rise blocks of flats in the wake of Saturday’s death blaze in Camberwell when two mums and their children died.

Tower Hamlets housing chief Marc Francis has been looking at safety this week at similar tower dwellings.

He told the East London Advertiser: “The tragedy highlights the need for fire safety in high-rise blocks, especially those of similar designs to the one in Camberwell.”

He has asked housing associations what they’re doing in the wake of the blaze in which six perished, including three children.

SAFETY AUDIT

Tower Hamlets Homes, which manages housing for the authority, is carrying out an urgent fire safety audit at blocks which are similar to Camberwell’s Lakanal House.

For one Tower Hamlets councillor, the terrible loss of life brought back memories of 27 years ago when she escaped with her life from a blaze in Brick Lane.

Cllr Shiria Khatun managed to get out of the house with her relatives and another family. But two men were trapped in the attic and died.

FIRE ESCAPES

She is inspecting housing in her ward in Poplar this week with special attention to fire escapes.

“We must look at whether there are adequate escapes,” she said. “We many have elderly tenants and many people in wheelchairs. There’s a need to check their escape routes.”

Cllr Khatun is also a board member of a housing association in Poplar which carries out a yearly fire risk assessment with a specialist fire safety officer.

Tower Hamlets Community Housing, which owns Bethnal Green’s 22-storey Charles Dickens House, delivered fire safety booklets just last month to 3,000 families on its housing estates, produced by the London Fire Brigade.


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