This fire tragedy in Camberwell does concern me and especially also since 1 fire engine has been removed from our local fire station in Roman Road, that previously had housed 2 local fire engines.
There was a big discussion going on some time ago when the fire brigade had planned to close down the station altogether and move fire services outside of the borough.
Luckily our blocks of Mark House and Sidney House have 3 stairwells each but the nearest high rise ladder to be found in case of need is in Tottenham and another one can be found on the Isle of Dogs. The blocks along the canal on Sewardstone Road Piggot House, Cleland House, etc. are quite solidly built but also only have 1 staircase each and I could imagine that fires could spread because if people have their windows open and inflammable materials are stored on the balconies, a fire could spread from one flat to another.
I think emergency services apply the “nothing happens lets not worry” mentality, that inevitably leads to the kind of “I wish I had done something earlier” excuses when something has happened.
We have a number of high rise blocks in the area, e.g. Cranbrook estate is full of them and another is near Bethnal Green station on the Roman Road.
Locally we had fire safety checks carried out on our church St. James the Less and the Glasshouse Community centre has been equipped with fire alarms. Yet when I walk around the estate I see over flowing bins and recycling bins.
The issue of open windows and curtains catching fire is always a problem and if one rubbish container catches fire and the sparks fly around int he wind and get into peoples curtains, that could cause considerable harm to our community and we should think of ways to avoid that.