Published Friday, 20th July 2018
Statement from Cllr Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee
"I was at Chaucer House today together with the Leader of the Council, the Chief Executive of Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) and Paul Scully MP to see what was happening on the ground in response to the fire.
"I was delighted to see so many SHP staff co-ordinating efforts to support those residents who had left the building or returned to find they could not get in. An emergency refuge had been set up in nearby Milton House where food, hot and cold drinks and nappies for babies were available, and this was also being used as an information point. The Council’s Encompass Team were already there to assist if anyone needed temporary accommodation.
"The Fire Service had the fire and building safety quickly under control and were incredibly co-operative in sharing information with staff and residents.
"As a result of this co-ordinated effort residents were able to start to return to their homes by mid-afternoon. Only a very few flats appear to have suffered any water damage.
"As the lifts are unlikely to be operating for a day or two SHP staff will remain on site over the weekend to assist anyone who may struggle with the stairs and need shopping or other assistance.
"Since the Grenfell fire, the Council, SHP and the Fire Service have been working closely together to ensure our high rise buildings are safe, with special focus on those with cladding. We were reassured when Chaucer passed the second batch of BRE cladding tests as a result of the combination of existing safety measures in the building, including the sprinkler system, and it has satisfied the detailed fire risk assessment commissioned since by SHP.
"So is very good to see that the system worked when a fire did arise, seeing the fire suppressed, restricted to the original flat and the fire brigade able to respond promptly, armed with the information they needed.
"Best of all residents are safe and most able to return to their homes.
"I offer my thanks to all council and SHP staff who attended the site to help, and particularly to all the Chaucer residents who remained calm and patient in the face of a very frightening situation."