Fears after 20th arson attack at tower block
SECURITY staff have been brought in to patrol a high rise tower block that has fallen victim to an arsonist around 20 times in three months.
Residents of Hollow End Towers, Brinnington, have also spoken out and asked Stockport MP Ann Coffey for help as the fires continue.
The latest was on Tuesday afternoon, the sixth since the previous Saturday, and all have involved lit material being put down the bin chute.
In July there were 10 in a week and residents fear that one could escalate into a tragedy.
As efforts are stepped up to catch the person responsible, Stockport Homes has also employed security staff at the flats during the afternoons and overnight.
Sarah Ormerod, 35, a mum who lives on the first floor, said: “It is frustrating and scary as I have four children and live opposite one of the bin chutes.
“One of my sons doesn’t want to stay at home anymore. The police, fire and Stockport Homes are doing everything they can but this person needs catching, they are putting lives at risk.
“Everyone is worried and anxious, people are saying, ‘is it going to take someone dying before this stops?’. One person has even made a second door to stop smoke getting in their flat.”
The 12-storey block, which is off Northumberland Road and has 66 flats, has also had CCTV installed but some of this has since been ripped down. And Stockport Homes has now locked the bin chutes and issued residents with keys. The housing association has also given all residents fire safety leaflets.
The fire service, which typically send around 20 firefighters to each call out, has also warned the arsonist lives are being put at risk.
Although the room to which the bin chutes lead has a drenching system for fires some have been too big for it to cope with and have smoke-logged all corridors.
Chris Murphy, a Brinnington councillor, said: “The security is to allay residents’ fears, especially after what happened at Grenfell Tower, tower block safety is a big issue.
“I would appeal for anyone with information to go to the police, someone knows who this is.”
Ann Coffey has pledged to speak to Stockport Homes about the issue on residents’ behalf.
●●Hollow End Towers
●●Sarah Ormerod and son Logan Bennett