Sheffield building evacuated over fire hazards

Sheffield building evacuated over fire hazards

THE CITY council stated that it had evacuated 127 residents from a privately owned block recently, due to a series of hazards and fire safety breaches.

The Star reported on comments from city councillor Paul Wood, cabinet member for safety at a discussion about private rented housing at a council scrutiny meeting. Mr Wood called for better checks on private housing, and discussed the recent evacuation, noting that he would be taking the issues raised up with the new government post election, ‘investigating how many private rented blocks are unchecked by the council and looking at how they can improve the system’.

Mr Wood stated of the evacuated building: ‘We have massive problems with some of the developments that are going on at the moment. A fortnight ago I got a call to say the power had gone off in some flats. When Janet (Sharpe, director for housing at the council) and I went down to investigate it wasn’t just the power had gone out it was that there were no fire alarms in it and no fire doors.

‘We had to evacuate 127 people and find them emergency accommodation within two hours, which we did with the help of the universities. That highlighted a massive problem.’

In addition, while keeping the identity of the building secret, Mr Wood estimated that the building in question ‘must have been’ developed at a cost of between £8m to £10m, with 80 flats making up the block.