Search

Orchard Village Rainham residents demand more action over fire safety concerns

PUBLISHED: 14:54 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 16 June 2017

Residents have raised concerns about fire safety at Orchard Village. Picture: Google Maps

Residents have raised concerns about fire safety at Orchard Village. Picture: Google Maps

Google Maps

‘Do we need to wait for a tragedy before our concerns are heard’ is the question on residents’ lips living on a problem-ridden estate.

Colin Nickless – chairman of the Orchard Village residents association – says the Rainham estate’s angry inhabitants feel their fire safety concerns have been ignored.

Speaking after it was revealed the Grenfell Tower Action Group had raised concerns about fire safety with the block’s owners Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in the months before the tragic inferno on Wednesday, Colin said: “Late last year I [raised] concerns regarding the fire safety in Orchard Village.

“I provided photographic evidence of failures in fire protection and breaches in building regulations, by failures in construction which would counter the Stay Put policy.”

The policy is dependent upon the fire resistant construction of buildings - that if a fire breaks out, flames are contained within the point of origin and do not spread to neighbouring homes.

But Trevor McKeever, who served 13 years as a crew manager at Hornchurch Fire Station and retired after 30 years of service in 2013, made damning criticisms after visiting Orchard Village.

“I made my first visit eight months ago,” he said.

“A resident who knows me asked me to look round and I made a list and referred that list to the London Fire Brigade’s fire safety department.

“Upon that I was informed that an additional engine would be despatched to any fire calls at the Orchard Estate.”

Mr McKeever said he found fire keys that allow firefighters emergency access were not working or placed too high up to reach easily, intumescent fire seals which expand and seal off the gap between the door and the frame missing, and smoke vent control panels broken.

“I visited today [Friday, June 16] and the issues had still not been rectified,” he continued.

“I spoke to a resident in Merlin Court who said it had been like that for two years.”

A spokeswoman for Clarion Housing, which owns the estate, said: “Clarion is working closely with key contractors and fire specialists on upgrading fire stopping in non communal areas and are addressing the concerns raised previously, working in conjunction to an agreed timetable with the brigade on these retrospective requirements. The dangerous situation reported does not exist as stated.”

In January, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas raised concerns in Parliament about the weakness in social housing regulation and a delay by the housing minister in carrying out a rapid investigation about breach of building regulations claims at the estate.

His spokesman said: “Jon has been fighting hard for the residents of Orchard Village across a multitude of issues.

“He has raised concerns with the housing association, council, regulators and in Parliament. He continues to do so.”

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 22:27

A two-year-old boy is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in Rainham earlier today.

Yesterday, 17:01

A man and a teenager from Romford have been charged following the theft of a Mercedes sports car in Brentwood.

Yesterday, 15:29

London Fire Brigade’s borough commander for Havering Paul Hobbs discussed firefighters’ best resources, new technology and his role in an exclusive interview with the Recorder.

Yesterday, 12:00

Residents are invited to wear their best neon, colourful outfits for two 1980s themed nights organised by a Hornchurch charity.

Yesterday, 10:16

A police officer raped a 16-year-old student twice while they were on a date in Romford, a court has heard.

Yesterday, 07:00

A top cop has vowed not to take his foot off the gas in a battle against burglaries after declaring a recent crime wave “under control”.

Mon, 18:10

Sky customers in Romford have been warned that they will be without internet for eight hours tonight.

Mon, 17:55

Hot temperatures of 24 degrees didn’t deter these Havering London Marathon runners who took on the 26.2 mile challenge in record heat.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

NC Construction Services Ltd, based in Hornchurch, Essex, is branching out into residential home improvements and refurbishments after many years working in the commercial sector, in direct response to potential clients looking to add space and value to their property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now