Romford fire: Residents to spend weekend in temporary accommodation after huge blaze on block of flats' roof
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 August 2019
Residents at a Romford block of flats that was severely damaged by fire yesterday are facing extended stays in temporary accommodation while their housing association investigates how badly damaged their homes were.
Those living at the block in Raven Close could only look on in horror as the blaze tore through their building's roof at around 4.30pm on Thursday (August 8).
But a number of residents who have since got in touch with the Recorder claim they were left standing in the street watching the building burn while housing association L&Q struggled to find them alternative accommodation for the night.
One, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "One thing I have to say is that the emergency response from the fire brigade and the police, and even the Salvation Army who came and looked after us was outstanding - they really supported us and looked out for us.
"But the housing association and the way they didn't seem to care about us at all was disgusting."
A spokesman for L&Q told the Recorder that the company's duty staff were informed of the fire at 5.50pm and were on site by 6.10pm "to support our residents and arrange temporary accommodation as quickly as possible".
He continued: "There are 17 homes in total - 16 occupied - and by 10.15pm we had moved 10 families into safe accommodation last night and for the weekend.
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"We are in contact with these residents now to extend this accommodation.
"The remaining families opted to make their own arrangements.
"We have had a large presence on site today and will be working closely with the fire brigade over the coming days to understand the extent of the damage and the cause of the fire.
"Our immediate priority of course is the welfare of the affected residents, and we will be communicating with them and supporting them in every way we can.
"Once the extent of the damage is clearer, we will work with all the residents to ensure permanent accommodation is provided as quickly as possible."
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) confirmed that eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters were called to a fire at the block of flats in Raven Close at 4.25pm.
An LFB spokesman confirmed the entire roof of the block of flats was damaged by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.
Station manager Dean Wilkinson, who was at the scene, said: "Crews worked hard to bring the fire under control."
Crews from seven different stations - Hornchurch, Harold Hill, Dagenham, Romford, Ilford, Hainualt and Barking - were called to the fire, which was deemed under control at 7.01pm.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.