Hartlepool MP calls for fire safety checks after London tower tragedy

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.
Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London.

Hartlepool’s new MP says all housing providers in the town should carry out immediate fire safety checks after the Grenfell tower tragedy in London.

Mike Hill called for the action to be taken to protect residents after at least 17 people perished in the disaster in West London.

New Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

New Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued advice for people living in high-rise accommodation.

And the Thirteen housing group, which manages a number of properties across Teesside and Hartlepool, says it is going to check all 20 of its high-rise buildings as a precaution.

Mr Hill, who was sworn in as Hartlepool’s new MP in Parliament this week, said: “The tragic loss of lives today at the Grenfell Tower block of flats in Kensington London is both regrettable and unnecessary in modern times.

“In Hartlepool we do not have the problem of having high rise flats vulnerable to major fire risks like Grenfell but we do have a high level of properties owned by private landlords and Registered Social Landlords like the Thirteen Housing Group.

“As MP for Hartlepool I am determined to make sure that such a tragedy as Grenfell could never ever happen in our town and so I have asked the Leader of the Council, Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Council’s Chief Executive and Ian Hayton the Chief Fire Officer for Cleveland Fire Brigade to contact all housing providers in the town to undertake immediate fire safety checks in all of their properties.

“We may not have tower blocks in Hartlepool like Grenfell towers but we all deserve to be fire safe in our homes.

“Let’s make it that way for our citizens and our communities.”

Mr Hayton said the brigade’s thoughts and prayers were with all those affected by the tragedy in London.

He said: “Cleveland Fire Brigade understands that residents in our local community who live in high rise accommodation may be concerned for their safety therefore we wish to reassure residents and offer them a Home Fire Safety Visit.

“Residents should note that fires of this nature are extremely rare. High-rise buildings are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke and provide a safe means of escape for occupants and most fires are contained within the room of origin.

“We work with both partners and housing providers to ensure that these premises comply with fire safety legislation and brigade officers undertake regular inspections of the buildings throughout the Cleveland area.

“It is vital that people know what to do in the event of a fire so that they can protect themselves and their families.”