Elderly in fear after two fires in a month at sheltered flats in Willesden Green
PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 October 2013
Elderly residents in Willesden Green are calling for urgent talks with their housing provider after two fires in less than a month at their block of flats.
The fires, on September 3 and 28, broke out in the same third floor flat of Clovelly Court which contains 36 private and assisted living flats.
During the first fire, caused by an unattended cigarette, a smoke alarm failed and the reason for the second blaze is still being investigated.
Neither fire caused any injuries but relatives fear Willow Housing and Care and Care, who manage the flats, are not doing enough and are demanding to meet with the landlord.
On the latest fire, Mick Murphy, whose mother lives at Clovelly Court, said: “The elderly residents were forced to evacuate the smoke-filled building, some finding themselves outside in just their night-clothes.
“They (the residents) previously voiced concerns about their safety some three weeks ago after an incident involving the same individual when he had a similar fire in his premises.
“On that occasion it was discovered that the residential block’s internal fire alarms were inoperative, and only the quick actions of one of the other elderly occupants averted disaster on that occasion.”
According to Mr Murphy, the residents are hoping to meet Willow Housing and Care this week.
Mr Murphy said: “I think they (Willow Housing and Care) are answerable. There is a duty of care and I think they have fallen down on this.”
Judy Peaker, Willow Housing and Care’s executive director, said London Fire Brigade had twice visited the home reviewing all safety protocols and had not suggested any improvements.
She said: “We regularly test and check smoke alarms at all of our developments in full compliance with fire health and safety regulations.
“We are constantly reviewing our fire safety policy to ensure the safety of our residents is paramount, discussing with our residents the fire risks involved with smoking and we are also reviewing the smoking policy in the development.”
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