New Providence Wharf fire: Blaze at tower blocked wrapped in 'Grenfell cladding' tackled by more than 100 firefighters

·2 min read
Fire damage to New Providence Wharf in Poplar - Jamie Lorriman
Fire damage to New Providence Wharf in Poplar - Jamie Lorriman

Residents have had to evacuate themselves from a blaze in a London block of flats covered in the same type of cladding as Grenfell Tower.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the fire at New Providence Wharf in Poplar, east London on Friday morning. More than 20 fire engines and around a dozen ambulances were rushed to the scene.

The fire ripped through three floors of the 19-storey building, which contains more than 500 flats.

Residents said they had to evacuate themselves from the burning building after fire alarms and a waking watch system, whereby trained personnel patrol the floors and exterior of a building, failed. One resident told The Telegraph they were told to stay in the building, rather than evacuate.

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Homeowners have been campaigning to remove the building's cladding since the 2017 Grenfell disaster that killed 72 people.

This newspaper understands contractors were set to arrive on site next Monday to begin the works. In a statement developers Ballymore said the safety of its residents was "paramount". The developer secured funding for the works in March from Government's funds to remove flammable materials from the block.

The Building Safety Fund is designed to pay for the removal of Grenfell-style cladding. However, it does not cover the replacement of dangerous timber balconies and other defects.

Even if applications are successful, shortfalls can mean residents face bills for millions of pounds of repairs.

A spokesman for Ballymore said: "We can confirm that the fire was quickly brought under control by the Fire Brigade and is now extinguished. Our response team are on-site to support residents and assist with alternative accommodation where necessary."

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