Fire safety concerns at sheltered housing in Cricklewood

The latest fire in Clovely Court, on Blenheim Gardens, is being treated as arson

The latest fire in Clovely Court, on Blenheim Gardens, is being treated as arson - Credit: Archant

Concerns for the safety of residents in a sheltered housing complex have mounted following revelations that the latest in a string of fires there is being treated as arson.

Amateur picture illustrating the extent of damage to the ground floor lounge area

Amateur picture illustrating the extent of damage to the ground floor lounge area - Credit: Archant

Clovelly Court in Blenheim Gardens, Cricklewood, was evacuated in the early hours of Monday.

More than 20 firefighters and officers tackled the blaze, which caused substantial damage to about half of the lounge and kitchen area.

No one was hurt and the evacuation took place as a precautionary measure.

Brent Police believe the fire at Clovelly Court – 39 sheltered flats managed by Network Stadium Housing Association – was started deliberately.

The son of one of the residents, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed Monday’s fire was the sixth in less than two years and he feared for the safety of his mother.

He told the Times: “It’s déjà vu. It’s not one fire too many, it’s six fires too many.

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“It is negligence and can’t be tolerated and I am extremely concerned for my mother’s safety.”

In September, the Times reported that residents had called for urgent talks with Network after two fires occurred in less than a month.

In one case, started by a discarded cigarette, a faulty smoke alarm failed to alert residents.

The son added: “They (Network) continue to gamble with the lives of the residents and risk corporate manslaughter if they do not address the issue head-on.”

A spokesman for Network denied it was the sixth fire, saying it was the fourth in less than two years.

He added: “Network Stadium regularly tests and maintains the fire alarm systems and fire doors at all their developments to ensure they comply with fire regulations.

“As a consequence, the fire alarm functioned correctly and the fire doors prevented the fire from spreading.

“We are keeping residents informed and their safety and well-being is our primary concern. Whilst the investigation is taking place we have employed a security officer during out-of-hours to monitor the premises.”

The London Fire Brigade said it could not confirm the actual number of fires because of an ongoing investigation but said that a “few” had been reported.

Anyone with information about Monday’s fire is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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