Thousands of residents in five London tower blocks are being displaced while authorities realized that buildings had same materials contributed to the flames during last week’s flames at Grenfell Tower.
Georgia Gould — leader of Camden Council — said in a statement on Friday that the displacement will last around three to four weeks while officials “undertake urgent fire safety works.”
A Camden Council official at the scene told BuzzFeed News late Friday night that up to 4,000 people could be displaced from their houses over the coming By Saturday morning, the Camden Council called the situation “unprecedented” but said it was “doing all we can to support residents and keep them safe.”
“I know it’s difficult, but Grenfell changes everything and I just don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety and I have to put them first.” Gould added during a news conference.
The towers whose residents would be displaced were Taplow, Burnham, Bray, Blashford, and Dorney.
“People are on the ground now talking to residents, working with them, to move them to the rest centre, it’s happening immediately.” Gould said.
The Grenfell Tower blaze, a 24-storey residential high-rise in north London, left 79 fatalities. Authorities said on Friday that a fridge-freezer sparked off the blaze.
Officials told BuzzFeed News that they could not displace people from their homes by force, but they started urging the residents of the five towers to leave Friday evening. However, there were residents who were not convinced of leaving and preferred to stay.
Two brothers, Mohammed Iskanda and Abdul Iskanda, who had been asked to leave told BuzzFeed News they have nowhere else to go.
“They rushed us as well, and apparently if you don’t want to leave, fire brigade are allowed to force you out,” Abdul Iskanda, who uses a wheelchair, said.
Mohammed Iskanda said the way the evacuation was carried out was “was just not good enough.”
“They told us we’re gonna stay in the community centre, but we need certain accommodations because my brother here is a wheelchair user,” he added. “But then some of them are saying we won’t find out until tomorrow morning.”