New Providence Wharf fire – evacuated residents still suffering

New Providence Wharf residents who were evacuated after the fire in their building last week have still not been allowed to return to their homes and are staying in a nearby hotel.

One resident described their current circumstances in a Twitter thread this morning and it is reproduced below in the hope that it exposes the shameful way this person has been treated and this will be rectified.

We have not had time to fact check everything in this tweet so the name of the hotel has not been included at the moment.

Three times the cladding scandal victim

So here’s the deal.

Cladding scandal protestors demonstrating outside Ballymore HQ in Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets.
Cladding scandal protestors demonstrating outside Ballymore HQ in Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets.

First you find you have bought a flat which has the same type of cladding as caused the Grenfell Fire and the deaths of 72 people but the developer isn’t too interested in getting that fixed any time soon.

Second there is a fire in your block which means you have to be evacuated to a nearby hotel.

Thirdly you get treated not as a victim but some sort of criminal as you are not allowed to meet with the other fire survivors in the communal areas of the hotel because… what? That your misfortune might upset the other guests?

‘I cannot express my upset, distress, and exhaustion.’

“Nearly 1 week since the fire at #NewProvidenceWharf. I am still living in a hotel room. I cannot move back and have had no update as #Ballymore don’t seem to know. My front door has a padlock on which I begged for after six days of it being wide open.

I did a ten hour day at school yesterday and cannot get time off work. I am physically and mentally exhausted. I do not want sympathy, but this is the harsh reality of living under the thumb of #Ballymore.

Our meeting with LFB/ Ballymore was cancelled as they need more information and to do more ‘checks’. It’s been 7 days of checks. The hotel now won’t let us use the communal areas so we continue to eat out of cardboard boxes using cardboard cutlery and remain trapped in our rooms

My items have been rummaged through. I don’t know when I can return. I am having flashbacks of being in the pitch black lift with the Fireman having a panic attack and sobbing.

My fridge/freezer was emptied and everything thrown away when I specifically asked to do it myself and now I have no proof of what was lost and how to recover costs. Ballymore will not share information yet on what their “stance” will be in regards to this.

I cannot express my upset, distress, and exhaustion. I am not okay, I am not sleeping. My mind is racing and the lack of information is scary. All this, knowing that this billionaire property company are still unable to accept accountability.

When I have spent all day at school and would like to discuss updates with other residents affected by this trauma, there is nowhere to allow any discussions or group conversations as the hotel have prohibited the use of communal areas. All this amidst Covid. I cannot cope.

Just learned that a member of staff from @ballymore concierge actually REFUSED my parcel at #NewProvidenceWharf. This was then taken back to the warehouse and they will not resend it to me because they refused it multiple times. WHY. CAN’T. YOU. DO. YOUR. JOB? Thank you again.”

Originally tweeted by J (@leaseholdjm) on May 13, 2021.

Update: Statement by Ballymore

At approximately 9am on Friday May 7, a fire broke out in an apartment on the 8th floor of a building in the New Providence Wharf development. Thanks to the rapid and professional response of the London Fire Brigade the fire was quickly contained, with all residents evacuated from the building in a timely manner, in accordance with the building’s fire safety protocols. Due to the fire brigade response and to the performance of the fire safety systems on the building, the fire damage was contained to one apartment and to two balconies of apartments above. Most residents were able to return to their homes the same evening, while Ballymore is providing accommodation in a nearby hotel for those who require it. The majority of those residents are also expected to return to their homes next week.

We understand how difficult and distressing this incident was for our residents and we are grateful for the patience they have demonstrated. Our response team is continuing to support them in any way we can.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined and we continue to work closely with the London Fire Brigade during their investigations. We can however confirm that the ACM cladding on the building did not combust and played no part in causing or facilitating the fire.

Enabling works to remove the ACM cladding had been underway for two weeks prior to the incident.

Enquirer Comment

We are as powerless as the author of the above tweets. The only thing we can do is try and get as many people as possible to get a glimpse into this person’s world and express our support.

You are not alone.

These tweets raise multiple issues but the main one is why are people who were forced to evacuate their homes not being allowed to meet in the communal areas of the hotel?

Once we have properly confirmed the identity of the hotel we will ask them and let you know.