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Chester tower block tenants told lessons from London inferno will be learned

High rise residents reassured blocks meet fire safety standards

The scene of a blaze at the Nant Peris flats, Blacon, in 2013

A housing association responsible for managing nine high rise blocks in Chester has promised to implement any recommendations which arise from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Sanctuary Housing hand-delivered letters to tenants in a bid to reassure them following the tower block inferno in west London which has so far claimed 17 lives.

Attention has focused on whether the fire spread so quickly because of external cladding which has also been fitted to high rise blocks in Blacon and Newtown .

Grenfell Towers in West London which was destroyed by a severe fire overnight(Image: Daily Mirror)

Sanctuary says its cladding meets fire safety standards, with a reiteration of current advice for tenants to ‘stay put’ in their flat in the event of a blaze while the fire brigade deals with the incident.

Spokeswoman Kate Reynolds said: “We are following advice from the fire service about the best way to keep residents safe.

"Residents can be reassured if there are lessons to be learnt from the terrible tragedy in London, we would implement any recommended actions.”

Ms Reynolds understood tenants would understandably be ‘unnerved’ by the tragic events in the capital.

She continued: "We were shocked and horrified by the dreadful tragedy in London yesterday and our thoughts are with those affected.

"We have offered housing and any other help required to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Grenfell Towers in West London which was destroyed by a severe fire overnight(Image: Daily Mirror)

“Sanctuary Housing manages nine high rise blocks in Chester. We can reassure residents that all annual fire risk assessments are in place and have been carried out in the required time. The cladding on the blocks meets all the required standards, including those for fire safety.

“In our conversations with residents, we remind them of the need to ‘stay put’ in case of a fire, keep communal areas clear and fire doors closed. We have visited the blocks and hand delivered letters yesterday (Wednesday 14 June) to further reassure residents.

“In addition, in 2015, we began a pilot of a sprinkler system at Rowland Heights in Newtown. That pilot has now completed and plans are underway to look at rolling out sprinklers to our remaining high rise blocks in Chester and beyond. We will communicate with residents ahead of any work starting.”

The scene of the blaze at the Nant Peris flats, Blacon, in 2013.

A serious fire broke out in a ninth floor flat at the Nant Peris tower block in Blacon around lunchtime on New Year’s Eve 2013 when a male casualty suffered slight burns and smoke inhalation. On arrival, crews found the flat to be well alight due to cooking having been left unattended.

In line with current thinking, other residents remained in their flats, which are designed to contain fire, and an evacuation was not necessary.

Meanwhile, Lord Mayor of Chester Cllr Razia Daniels has sent a message of condolence to those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster on behalf of the city of Chester.

The new Lord Mayor of Chester Razia Daniels

She said: “I am saddened by the news that people have lost their lives, lost family members, been injured and lost their homes and all their possessions in this horrific incident.

“It must have been terrifying for those who were caught up in the harrowing fire and for the members of public who came to the aid of those who were trapped.

“I would like to praise the emergency services who came to the aid of those injured, dying or those who were trapped by the fire.

“They have, yet again, shown such bravery and resilience, and put their own lives at risk to save others. It is also heartening to see the community and local businesses coming together to support those impacted by the terrible incident.”

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