A mother who was trapped with her dad and son on the 27th floor of a burning high-rise building said she feared another Grenfell Tower-style disaster.
Kimberley Matthews banged on doors to alert residents to the thick smoke filling corridors at Cleveland Tower in Birmingham city centre.
After dialling 999, she and her 5-year-old son Riley were told to stay inside her dad David Gourlay’s flat and not to use the lifts in a bid to escape.
But she said women were crying on stairwells as fear gripped residents stuck inside the 300ft tower block, off Holloway Head, during the suspected arson attack at around 11.30am yesterday (1 July).
Kimberley said she feared they would have "had no chance" if the fire reached the flat.
There was loads of smoke and we couldn’t see anything. I was phoning everybody panicking. There was smoke in the lift. I dialled 999 and we were told to stay indoors. But after what happened in London I was frightened for Riley. I left my son with my dad on his balcony because smoke was starting to get into his flat. I was banging people’s doors as the firefighters were coming up and women were on the stairwells crying. We were 27 floors up – we would have had no chance.
Kimberley, a 27-year-old maintenance firm worker, lives in Yardley and was visiting her dad.
West Midlands Fire Service said no one is was believed to have been hurt and the fire broke out on a 22nd floor lobby area.
The cause of the blaze was not clear but the WM Housing Group, which owns the tower block, said it was being treated as suspected arson.