‘Enough is enough’: blaze engulfs ‘Grenfell-style’ London tower block

New Providence Wharf similar to Grenfell

More than 100 firefighters tackled a blaze that ripped through a 19-storey London tower block. It’s believed to be covered in “Grenfell-style” flammable cladding. So, people are already asking how the government allowed this to happen. And a Grenfell survivors group has said “enough is enough”.

New Providence Wharf

As PA reported, on Friday 7 May residents called the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to the New Providence Wharf development. It’s near Canary Wharf in Poplar, East London. The LFB said 100 firefighters and 20 engines were at the scene of the fire, which engulfed three floors:

Pictures and videos on social media show part of the building engulfed in flames, with thick grey smoke pouring out of the block several stories high:

People also shared footage reportedly filmed inside New Providence Wharf during the fire:

PA reported that the LFB said:

The brigade was called at 0855. Fire crews from Poplar, Millwall, Shadwell, Plaistow, Whitechapel and surrounding fire stations are at the scene.

The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.

By 12:40pm, the LFB said the fire was “under control”. It also said that:

Two men have been taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation. A further 38 adults & four children have been treated at the scene… for shock & smoke inhalation.

But crucially, people have said that the tower had the same flammable cladding as Grenfell.

Another Grenfell?

PA reported that one resident said on Instagram:

When your building has the same cladding as Grenfell Tower. Oh my god.

LBC journalist Rachael Venables said the same:

As did Inside Housing‘s Jack Simpson:

Also, one local resident claimed that the tower block had “walking fire wardens” for a “couple of weeks” prior to the fire. And as Simpson tweeted, people had known about the potential danger at New Providence Wharf for “over two years”:

Local MP Apsana Begum said similar:

And Venables said that:

work to remove the cladding was due to start THIS week, and finish in March 2022.

“Shame this government”

The fire comes just days after the government’s post-Grenfell fire safety laws. Campaigners argue they could leave leaseholders paying tens of thousands of pounds to remove cladding on their buildings.

General secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Matt Wrack said in a statement:

It should shame this government that four years on from Grenfell there are people across the country living in buildings wrapped in flammable cladding. …

The pace of removing flammable cladding has been glacial and it’s putting people’s lives at risk.

So, some people called for a legal class action:

“Enough is enough”

Meanwhile, survivor group Grenfell United said in a statement:

We are horrified by the news of the fire at the New Providence Wharf today. When will the government take this scandal seriously? Enough is enough. The Government promised to remove dangerous cladding by June 2020 it has completely failed its own target and every day that goes by lives are at risk. Today more people have lost their homes in another terrifying fire.

The Government needs to treat this as an emergency and stop stonewalling residents who are raising concerns. No more games, no more excuses. We’ve said all along that another tragedy is waiting to happen unless this crisis is dealt with properly and swiftly. Our thoughts are with those affected.

PA approached building developer Ballymore for comment.

Additional reporting and featured image via Press Association 

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