Newcastle flats evacuated after building issued with fire safety notice

Parts of the Rialto apartment building in Newcastle been served with an official prohibition notice by the fire service. Credit: Google Maps

Residents of an apartment building in Newcastle have been evacuated due to concerns about fire safety.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service served parts of the Rialto apartment building in Newcastle with an official prohibition notice.

This has led to a number of residents at the Melbourne Street building being asked to temporarily leave the premises until remedial work can be carried out by those responsible for the building to address concerns raised with the fire and rescue service.

The company who manage the building, Kingston Property Services, said: "We are working closely with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Newcastle City Council following the prohibition notices served at short notice on Tuesday evening.

"Kingston representatives were immediately dispatched to site to assist with the evacuation and helping with finding temporary accommodation for residents all through the night.

"We will continue to offer support while we await confirmation of the next steps from all parties responsible for the fire remediation works. 

"The welfare of residents is our paramount concern, and ensuring their safety is our top priority.

"Kingston is engaged in providing day to day management services at the development, but are not engaged to advise or manage on the fire remediation issues, as a separate organisation is engaged to do this.

"We will continue to communicate with owners and residents to ensure they are updated once we know the extent of remedial works and the next steps are confirmed."

Some residents were forced to leave until remedial work had been carried out. Credit: Google Maps

A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) spokesperson said: “Individuals or organisations responsible for high rise premises have a statutory responsibility to ensure their premises are compliant with fire safety legislation and to produce reports for the fire and rescue service to confirm this.

“We support management companies and responsible persons whom are responsible for the safety arrangements within these buildings so as to mitigate any risks to residents, or the wider public.

"The fire and rescue service are responsible for ensuring that the safety arrangements are suitable and sufficient to ensure public safety.

“This week we were made aware of fire safety concerns at the Rialto Building on Melbourne Street, Newcastle, by the management company responsible for the premises.

“Following intensive and detailed consideration by our fire safety experts, we have taken the decision to issue prohibition notices covering parts of the building.

"This was due to immediate concerns around the safety of residents, in the event of a fire at the building, and in light of new information that was brought to our attention.

“This means residents at the property will be required to leave the premises until the company responsible for the buildings can undertake mitigating actions to resolve the issues identified.

“It is the responsibility of the responsible person of the building to ensure compliance with legislation and we will offer support with remedial work they need to carry out to ultimately allow affected residents to return to their homes.

“We understand this will cause upheaval for those residents. We only take this approach when all alternative options have been exhausted.

"However, the safety of residents will always be our paramount concern.”

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “Safety of residents is our top priority and we are supporting the fire service following their decision to issue this notice.

“We understand this decision has not been taken lightly but safety is the paramount concern.

"We will be working with the building management to ensure suitable accommodation is available to those who require it.

“We hope remedial works can be resolved as quickly as possible so residents can return to their homes.”

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