Fire leads to safety concerns at flats

Jane Holmes, John Charlton and Claire Pepper.

Jane Holmes, John Charlton and Claire Pepper.

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The Advertiser stepped in to help residents get rid of a load of rubbish left outside a block of flats in Cotmanhay which they feared could be a fire hazard.

Earlier this month a blaze was started in a wheelie bin which caused damage to a window at the Tunniclife Court complex on Vernon Street.

Resident Jane Holmes contacted the Advertiser after making numerous calls to owner of the flats De Montfort Housing Society to dispose of the rubbish, left there after a tenant was evicted.

She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. There was a fire here just two weeks ago and we are worried it could happen again.

“I have called the De Montfort and they haven’t done anything yet. We need more support from them - we have to pay a service charge.”

Since the Advertiser contacted the company on Thursday the rubbish has been cleared away.

Jane also said that the incident had given them concerns over means of escape in the event of a future fire. She added: “Some people have babies and are scared. This has just made us realise how much in danger we are.”

The building contains 12 flats in total, including a number of families with young children.

Another resident, John Charlton, said: “There is no escape route if there was a fire as the windows don’t open much.”

Mark Taylor, housing manager for estates at De Montfort Housing Society, part of Waterloo Housing Group, said: “We understand residents concerns about the vandalism and fly tipping of rubbish which was then set alight. All the debris has now been removed and the damage will soon be fixed.

He added: “We are working with the local police to prevent future problems and will also be involving residents in ways to introduce more security features at the site.”