Fire chiefs swoop on dangerous makeshift homes in Alperton industrial estate

Officers describe living accommodation as one of the worst fire risk they have ever seen

Fire chiefs have swopped on six buildings in an industrial estate in Alperton which were being used as makeshift homes for around 150 people.

In what has been dubbed as one of the worst fire risks safety officers have ever seen, people were paying rent to live in the commercial buildings in Beresford Avenue, which could have resulted in fatal consequences if a fire had broken out.

The brigade uncovered the living accommodation last month following a fire in Mount Pleasant, Alperton, where six people were rescued.

Inspectors found 50 people were living in 17 rooms which had virtually no fire safety features such as fire protection between different floors and a limited means of escape should a fire break out.

Three children were also found to be living with adults in an office above a garage.

Following the discovery, fire chiefs served six ‘prohibition notices’ on the building’s owners which bans them from using their premises as living accommodation.

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Steve Turek, London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation, said: “Officers visiting these premises have described the breaches of fire safety as some of the worst they have ever seen.

“The complete contempt some landlords appear to have for the safety of those families they are taking money from is incredible. “These buildings are potential death traps and it’s lucky nobody was killed as a result.

“If we find that people are putting lives at risk by blatantly ignoring them we will have no hesitation in prosecuting.” The tenants have been found alternative accommodation by Brent Council.