Bellway homes: “Barking fire: residents claim safety fears about flats were downplayed”

” …Peter Mason, chair of the Barking Reach residents’ association, told the Guardian that in early May he contacted the builder Bellway Homes to ask for the fire risk to be investigated after BBC Watchdog broadcast claims of fire safety problems at two other developments by the same builder.

In an email seen by the Guardian from the firm’s fire safety helpline last month, Bellway told him not to worry. In a section headed Your Home it said the construction method used on the development in Scotland examined by Watchdog was different and so the Barking homes were not affected in the same way.

It concluded: “We understand that these news articles are highly alarming for all residents of new homes and I hope that the above statement has allayed any fears you may have over the safety and construction of your Bellway home.”

Mason said he felt “gut-wrenched” by the fire, adding that people had lost their homes and possessions and were in severe distress. The fire appeared to rip through the wooden cladding around the balconies of the building and may have been caused by a barbecue being lit on one of the balconies, Mason said.

Twenty flats were destroyed by the flames and a further 10 were damaged by heat and smoke. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/09/fire-flats-barking-east-london-de-pass-gardens?