Hundreds of residents in London homes near the Tower of Grenfell are facing a cold Christmas after the heads of the council told them that the lining on two tower blocks was a "substantial" fire and must be removed without delay.
Residents of Adair and Le Hazelwood Towers received letters from the Kensington and Chelsea council on Thursday informing them that work to replace the rendering of insulation outside their blocks would begin next week. Last month governmental councils on external cladding on tower blocks were updated.
Insulating materials on those blocks are not the same as those used on Grenfell Tower. But the materials known as EPS (expanded polystyrene system) were also considered a fire risk.
The lining of the blocks was installed in 1
Residents said they were angry about the job, which should last from five to six months, and would have been carried out during the colder months of the year in blocks that said they were already cold. Council officials said they are discussing measures to improve the cold but have not detailed any plans.
Darren Turner, a resident, said: "Living in buildings without isolation for several months will be really intense and will affect a lot of people."
The concern about the risk of fire is so great that council officials have moved the 24-hour firefighters into the blocks for a cost of £ 26,000 per week until the lining materials were removed.
A spokesperson for the council said that he had begun examining fire safety issues after taking responsibility for the popular housing in the district from a tenant management organization.
Since the Grenfell Tower disaster, there have been two fires in apartments in Hazelwood. Both were contained inside the apartments where they were started.
An assessment of the fire risk of the blocks was undertaken in July 2018 by independent specialists. While the insulation system complied with regulations at the time of installation, concerns had been raised about its safety. Work on seemingly faulty doors and windows will take place at the same time as the recovery.
"Residents will not be moved while work is finished," a council spokesman said. "The dirt and breaks will be kept to a minimum and we are creating a working group to keep informed as the work progresses and we will discuss with the residents what further assistance we can provide in relation to the cold."
Kensington and Chelsea were not the only ones to consider removing that particular system of isolation from its high blocks.
Islington council is carrying out similar replacement of the EPS coating at Fyfield's block in Finsbury Park, north of London.