27 October 2014

Around 60 residents of a high rise block of flats in Stratford, East London evacuated the property after smoke alarms alerted them to a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning (26th October).

London Fire Brigade's Acting Station Manager, Daniel Egan said: "The fire was contained quickly. The building did have working smoke alarms which is important because it provided a vital early warning and allowed residents to get out. Firefighters were called at 6.36am yesterday morning, arriving to find a number of people had already escaped the building.

“The fire broke out on the balcony of a seventh-floor flat. The heat from the flames was enough to melt the double-glazed windows of the four-room flat above, causing smoke to pour into it.”

One woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries after falling as she fled the premises. A four roomed flat on the seventh floor was slightly damaged by fire and an external balcony on the sixth floor was completely destroyed.

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

Original sources

Newham Recorder

London Fire Brigade

London Evening Standard