Search

Camden tower block residents in fear after Grenfell blaze

PUBLISHED: 19:34 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:51 16 June 2017

In January 2012 a fire broke out on the  17th floor flat in Taplow block in Adelaide Road, Swiss Cottage. Picture: Lee Massey

In January 2012 a fire broke out on the 17th floor flat in Taplow block in Adelaide Road, Swiss Cottage. Picture: Lee Massey

Archant

Neighbours living in high-rise tower blocks in Camden have spoken about their own fears following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Chalcots estate contains five nearly identical high rise blocks. The Chalcots estate contains five nearly identical high rise blocks.

Residents from the Chalcots Estate, in Swiss Cottage – which has four 22-storey blocks: Taplow, Bray, Burnham and Dorney, with 18-storey Blashford down the road – voiced concerns about what they would do in the same situation.

Filoretta, who lives on the second floor of Dorney, said: “It’s scary, it’s obviously scary.”

She added: “If something major happened here, heaven forbid, I’d jump out of the window if I had to. I do really feel for these people.”

The 33-year-old mother of Ort, seven, and Eliza, six, told how she had spoken to a woman living on the 22nd floor who echoed her own fears.

Chalcots Estate residents' association chair Robert O'Toole says he asked Camden Council to make their advice consistent. Picture: ROBERT O'TOOLE Chalcots Estate residents' association chair Robert O'Toole says he asked Camden Council to make their advice consistent. Picture: ROBERT O'TOOLE

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” Filoretta said after expressing her relief at having turned down a flat on the 15th floor before moving into the building a few weeks ago.

She said: “God forbid if I saw the news and I was living on the 15th floor. I would have given up the flat. I would have moved.”

Daniel Araya, who has lived in Taplow for ten years, described how he saw flames coming out of a flat during a fire a few years ago where “two or three” cladding panels were scorched black.

“It’s scary... When I think of how the steps, how narrow they are, how difficult it would be to get out of the building if something happened,” Daniel said.

A second woman wearing a headscarf, who has four children, but wanted to remain anonymous, spoke poor English and seemed very unsure about what to do in the event of a fire.

Head of the Chalcots Estate residents association Robert O’Toole, who worked as a part-time fireman for six years around 30 years ago, said: “A lot of people are scared, but as far as I’m concerned the buildings are safe.

“I’ve been advising people to carry on as normal and am doing my best to put people at ease,” he added.

Robert – who has been the association’s head for almost ten years – explained how he would be reporting his neighbours’ concerns during a meeting with Camden Council tonight before he went on to describe how he felt when he heard the news of Wednesday’s fire.

“I was devastated. It looked like something out of World War Two. I didn’t think that could happen in this day and age.

“I felt what the fire crews went through. They’re dead brave,” he added.

Camden leader Georgia Gould has reassured tenants and leaseholders throughout Camden that extra safety checks will be carried out in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

13:34

Camden Council is set to increase council tax next year by nearly five per cent.

10:58

Jailed mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘can see some light’ at the end of the tunnel after she avoided being dragged back to court following a visit by foreign secretary Boris Johnson to her family in Iran.

Yesterday, 13:06

Weather warnings have been issued across London following heavy snowfall overnight and this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A man in his 60s has died after a fire at a ground floor flat in Alexandra Place, St John’s Wood this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boris Johnson will be visiting Iran this weekend, and will push to get West Hampstead mum Nazanin freed from prison.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell CBE was a guest of honour at the JW3 annual fundraising dinner.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hampstead lawyer Jessica Learmond Criqui writes a letter on the situation regarding ‘disappeared’ Arman bin Quasem in Bangladesh

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Six Camden Tories were running for charity rather than for office last weekend, as they raised over £1500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

PROMOTED CONTENT

One of London’s most popular animal welfare charities rolled out the red carpet for glamorous guests and their beloved pet dogs as their annual fundraiser returned.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now