Coventry tower block fire likely to have been caused by a cigarette

Lewis Warner spoke to one man who believes there should have been a better emergency plan in place.

West Midlands Fire Service has confirmed that a fire which broke out on the 15th floor of a 16 storey tower block in Coventry was accidental, and most likely caused by a cigarette that hadn't properly been put out.

75 fire fighters tackled the blaze in 13 fire engines when it broke out on Saturday evening at Nauls Mill House in the Coundon area of the city. 100 people were forced to leave their homes.

Residents told ITV News Central they were left standing in the cold for hours with no-where to go, and that there should have been a plan in place.

One man who didn't want to be identified said, "They've handled it wrong, totally wrong, after big fires like Grenfell, there should have been a plan."

"If a fire breaks out in a tower block, open a library straight away, get people off the street, get kids off the street, there were kids left in cars, left standing out in the freezing cold, they're the ones I feel sorry for, it really hits home, it shouldn't be like that."

"They should do something as a housing association, there should be something in place, there was nothing offered to anyone on the Saturday night.

Today the housing association responsible for the tower block had engineers on site trying to fix the power so that residents can return. 

Steve Kirk, Maintenance Operations Director at Citizen told ITV News Central: "Clearly it has been difficult with it being the bank holiday weekend.

"We do have plans in place and part of that plan is that we work very closely with the City Council with regards to their emergency planning.

"So they help us out with communications, help us out with accommodation, you know fire causes a great deal of havoc to everyone.

"But we did have people on site throughout and we had accommodation being offered by the council immediately. I am sure we will learn lessons from this.

"As in every case. Perhaps one of the key points is no injuries and we will have service restored to people pretty soon."

Nobody was seriously hurt in the fire but it took four hours to put out.

An investigation is underway into how the fire started and work to refurbish the damaged flats will start soon.