CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Tenants flee fire alarm which rang for four days

13 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot

A HOUSING association has apologised after a fire alarm rang in a housing block continually for four days. Clarion Housing Group, formerly Circle 33, said it was “sorry for the disruption” at the block in Whitfield Street, Fitzrovia, but an assessment had found the din was “not a danger”.

The noise forced resident Chris Basson to leave the block and stay with friends. “I had to get out of here it got so bad,” he said. “It’s disturbing everyone. But it’s not only that the alarm is going off, it also means we have no confidence in the system. The fire brigade turn up but they say it isn’t their responsibility to switch off the alarm.”

The alarm was switched off by Clarion several times but kept coming back on again, said Mr Basson. A former Camden councillor, he lived on the Chalcots estate in Swiss Cottage until a few months before the evacuation in June after a fire inspection found tower blocks were unsafe. Mr Basson said: “After Grenfell, you’d think all this stuff would be right at the top of everyone’s agenda. Post-Grenfell, how does a housing association justify having a fire alarm going off for so many hours?”

Clarion Housing Group has apologised for disruption caused by the faulty fire alarm.

“An engineer did attend on Tuesday evening to assess the situation and confirmed it did not pose a danger,” the housing association said. “The engineer will be returning to the site on Thursday with the parts required to fix the alarm.”

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