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Destroyed Bridge Point flats to be rebuilt this summer after Hornchurch explosion last year

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 April 2018

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at the Bridge Point flats in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at the Bridge Point flats in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Plans are in place to rebuild a block of flats this summer, after an explosion ripped through the building last year.

A member of the emergency services at the scene of an explosion at a building in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria JonesA member of the emergency services at the scene of an explosion at a building in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Swan Housing Association, which owns the Bridge Point flats on the A127, has announced that it will start reconstructing the seven one-bedroom flats that were destroyed by the blast.

Approval was given by Havering Council at the end of last year and Swan Housing Association is now in the final stages of choosing a contractor to build the new homes.

It is said that the flats will be a “like for like” replacement for the ones that were knocked down.

Executive director of regeneration and development Geoff Pearce said: “At Swan, we are committed to delivering exemplar homes and communities and after the devastation of the fire at Bridge Point, I am pleased that we are now closer to replacing the damaged homes.

“We expect works to begin later this summer and to be completed late in 2019.”

A flood of emergency services, including more than 70 firefighters, rushed to the scene on January 23 2017, to tackle the blaze, as well as police and paramedics who took four people to hospital for treatment following the explosion.

Former Bridge Point resident Bobbie Leonard, 25, spoke to the Recorder at the time of the incident, describing how she and her boyfriend were watching television when the explosion happened and the walls and ceiling fell down around them.

She said the force of the blast was so strong, that at first she thought “a lorry hit the building”.

Now more than a year on, work is just a few months away from starting on reconstructing the block of flats.

Executive director of operations Sandra Fawcett said: “Our teams worked with our partners at Havering Council, the emergency services, and other local agencies to support our residents during what was an incredibly difficult time for them.

“We are delighted that we can now move forward to replace the damaged homes.

“We will continue to support our residents until these works are completed and wish to thank them again for their continued resilience and support.”

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