Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

Cllrs Ruth Dombey, Marlene Heron and Steve Penneck working hard for Sutton North all year round Learn more

Chaucer House fire

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 22 July, 2018

There was a fire in one of the flats in Chaucer House (off Collingwood Road) on Friday 20th July. The fire did not spread and was not related to the cladding of the building. No injuries have been reported, though two adults were treated for smoke inhalation in hospital but returned home the same day.

The sprinkler in the flat was triggered and worked effectively and the fire was fully extinguished by 11.30am.

Leader of Sutton Council and ward councillor, Cllr Ruth Dombey, said: “Thankfully there were no injuries and the fire was contained to one flat and did not spread. The sprinkler system worked very effectively to contain the fire. Our huge thanks to the fire brigade and emergency services for their rapid response.

“A meeting was held in the afternoon with representatives of London Fire Bridge and Sutton Housing Partnership in order to reassure residents and provide support. Both Marlene and myself were there all afternoon to give a hand.

“The majority of families were able to return to their homes in the afternoon but temporary accommodation was on hand if anyone needed it. Fire investigators are working to establish the cause of the blaze but it was not related in any way to the cladding system.”
It was really impressive to see how well everyone pulled together to deal with the emergency. A refuge was set up in nearby Milton House where food, hot and cold drinks and nappies for babies were available, and this was also used as an information point. The Fire Service had the fire and building safety quickly under control and were very co-operative in sharing information with staff and residents.

As the lifts are unlikely to be operating for a day or two, SHP staff are remaining 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, Sutton Housing Partnership and the Fire Service have been working closely together to ensure Sutton’s 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 it is 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 with the information they needed. Best of all residents were safe and most able to return to their homes.

We would like to offer our thanks to all fire crews, Council and SHP staff who attended the site to help, and particularly to all the Chaucer residents who remained calm and patient throughout the day. Everyone pulled together to offer help and support and we are very grateful.

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