Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Households still refusing to leave Chalcot estate

Around 20 households are staying defiant on the Chalcot Estate in Camden and refusing to leave, despite an evacuation of thousands of residents yesterday over fire safety fears.

Residents who are still in the blocks have told ITV News this morning the evacuation was 'chaos'. Sayer Meah lives in Burnham Tower block with his wife and his elderly mother, who he cares for. He stayed at home last night, despite being asked to leave.

I feel like a refugee. I'm not allowed to go into my own home. They asked us to go to the leisure centre last night, and sleep on an airbed on the floor. How can I ask my mum to do that? I understand they need to do this for our safety but it's really badly organised.

– Sayer Meah, resident

Falumo Dalah spent last night in his car, with his 16 month old baby and two sons who are aged six and seven.

We are losing our lives. We work here, my children go to different schools here. I couldn't go to the centre with my baby, so on the first night we had to sleep in the car. They've offered me accommodation but it's in Whitechapel, it's too far away for my work and schools.

– Falumo Dalah, resident
Around 20 households are refusing two leave four tower blocks that were evacuated yesterday Credit: PA

A number of people spent a second night last night on air beds in two respite centres near the blocks, one set up inside Swiss Cottage library. However many have also now been moved into local hotels.

Yesterday's evacuation was voluntary, but the leader of the council said this morning officials would be visiting the blocks again to try and get the last residents out.

This morning council staff will conduct further door knocking to ask those who remain to leave, and issue another letter reiterating to residents who are still remaining in the Taplow, Bray, Dorney and Burnham blocks, that they must leave.

By remaining in the blocks these residents risk delaying the work that is required and that we are undertaking to make these homes safe.

It is not safe to remain in these blocks and our residents' safety will continue to be the council's number one priority.

– Cllr Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council

The council has made over 200 offers of accommodation so far at a cost of more than half a million pounds. It has also committed £100,000 to pay for food and essential items for those out of their homes.