Coming home to nightmares
A MUM has hit out at a housing association after a West Drayton flat fire last month left her eight-yearold son with nightmares.
The Park Lodge Avenue resident, 27, brought her concerns about the safety of the block of flats, managed by Notting Hill Housing Association, before a blaze broke out at the property below her in the early hours of Friday November 17.
The mum-of-one, who asked not to be named, was only alerted to the flames by the flat occupant screaming in fear.
She told getwestlondon: “The fire was in a flat underneath me, I’m on level four.
“We were asleep at the time, it was about 2.30am to 3am when we heard someone knocking on the door.
“At first I thought it was a joke, then I heard a voice screaming that made me get up. I went into the corridor and you could smell it and see smoke.
“The woman was screaming and knocking on people’s doors. Most of the people in these flats have kids.
“This is all after my boiler had issues and I told my housing officer that “something has to be done” and they didn’t do anything.
“This was the one thing my son was scared of and it has now happened.
“The whole thing could have been avoided – people’s lives were at risk and the housing association didn’t do anything.”
The concerned resident worries for the welfare of her son after the incident.
She said: “It’s alright for [the housing officers], going home to their warm houses, my son comes home to nightmares.
“I’ve taken him to the doctors about it.
“When he went back to school, they did a fire alarm test.
“Can you imagine how he reacted? He freaked out and now he won’t sleep.
“I’ve now had a smoke alarm fitted by the fire brigade.
“But there are no fire alarms or sprinklers in the communal areas. I’ve been there for five years and it’s been non-stop problems.”
A spokesman said: “This means if a fire is in another part of the building you will usually be safer staying in your home unless the heat or smoke is affecting you.
“Properties with a stay put policy are designed to contain fires where they start and prevent them spreading.
“Each flat in the block has a mains-wired smoke alarm with a battery back-up.
“These will all be checked in the coming days to ensure they are working as expected.
“The communal areas have smoke and heat detectors which detect fire and open smoke vents, while notifying the main fire panel in the concierge.
“Due to the stay put policy, there is no sounded alarm in the communal areas.”
Notting Hill Housing says it undertakes regular fire risk assessments on all properties it owns or manages.
A spokesman for the company said: “These are carried out by qualified professionals and if any risk is discovered, we act quickly to fix it. We also regularly inspect larger blocks to ensure escape routes are kept clear.
“Recent inspections of several heating systems in individual properties uncovered some issues with the condition and performance of some hot water cylinders.
“As a result, we are arranging a health check of all heating system units over the next three weeks.
“Our staff have been in contact with residents since the fire was reported [on Friday November 17].
“A letter was sent to residents on Tuesday [November 21] advising them about the heating system health check and that was followed by another update sent out on Friday [November 22].
“We strive to keep residents informed as best we can, as well as liaising directly with affected households and fielding queries that come in to us.”
MUM SAYS SHE ‘BEGGED’ HOUSING ASSOCIATION TO ACT MONTHS BEFORE BLAZE AT FLATS
London Fire Brigade warned the incident ‘could have had a very different outcome’ as there were no smoke alarms in the West Drayton flat
Fire broke out at a block of flats in Park Lodge Avenue, West Drayton