16 Nov 2011
Hundreds of people have been taking their lives in their hands by living in commercial buildings on an industrial estate, exposing themselves to some of the worst fire safety risks London Fire Brigade has ever seen.
A fire last month in an office block on Mount Pleasant prompted a wider investigation. The fire, from which six people were rescued, sparked an investigation of the building which revealed 50 people were living in 17 rooms.
Fire safety officers were horrified to find extremely limited means of escape, and almost no safety features inside.
Investigations led them to another set of offices above a garage on nearby Beresford Avenue, where 21 people, including three children, were living. The fire brigade said the conditions there were equally lethal.
They were then alerted to four more nearby properties, housing around 80 people.
Fire safety inspectors have since issued six “prohibition notices” on the buildings, which in total have housed around 150 people.
Copyright Press Association 2011