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Fire service offers more reassurance to Ellesmere Port high rise residents

Service protection team revisiting blocks of flats in wake of Grenfell Tower tragedy

Joseph Groome Towers in Ellesmere Port(Image: UGC)

Cheshire's Fire and Rescue Service says it is continuing to reassure Ellesmere Port’s high rise residents in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The three blocks at Joseph Groome Towers on the Westminster estate were first proposed in 1965 and completed in 1967.

Each tower is 40m in height with 13 floors providing 51 flats. All three blocks have sprinkler systems fitted and are not fitted with cladding.

The service’s protection team has contacted all Cheshire high rise housing providers to ask for details of any cladding material used on a tower block.

Fire crews and prevention officers are also revisiting each of the 21 high rise properties across the county to offer advice and support to occupiers and are offering home safety assessments in each flat.

Fire officers are also working with housing providers and attending residents’ meetings arranged by them to answer specific questions relating to fire safety.

The service’s head of protection Simon Gibbins said: “I would like to reassure everyone that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working tirelessly to ensure the safety of our communities under the powers we have following the unprecedented fire in London on June 14.

“Firefighters have visited every residential high rise property across Cheshire to provide reassurance to residents and to carry out site specific risk inspections.

“These are done so that firefighters are aware of building layouts and whether there are any particular hazards they may encounter if there was a fire in the building.”

At an earlier stage Ellesmere Port St Paul’s ward borough councillor Angela Claydon (Lab), Cheshire West’s housing chief and a former housing chairman on the Ellesmere Port and Neston district council, said: “I know some of our residents will be feeling understandably worried and for this reason our housing managers Plus Dane are visiting their three blocks with the local Ellesmere Port fire crew.“

Since July 1 the blocks have been managed by ForHousing which has taken over on a new 10 year contract from Plus Dane.

The fire service has also pointed out its training for all firefighters and incident commanders as well as new recruits covers high rise blocks. Recruits also visit the blocks as part of their training.

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