800 London Public Housing Units Evacuated for Safety

Residents told safety couldn't be guaranteed following Grenfell fire
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2017 6:53 PM CDT
Hundreds Evacuated Due to Risk After Grenfell Tower Fire
Residents leave a tower block on the Chalcots Estate in Camden, London, Friday evening, as the building is evacuated in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire to allow "urgent fire safety works" to take place. More than 800 homes in the tower blocks are to be evacuated.   (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Hundreds of residents living in five public housing buildings in the Camden borough of London were being evacuated Friday evening after firefighters couldn't guarantee their safety in the wake of the deadly Grenfell Tower disaster, the AP reports. According to the New York Times, police say cladding material used on the five buildings at the Chalcots housing estate failed safety tests by investigators. It's similar to the combustible cladding used in Grenfell Tower, where at least 79 people died in a fire last week. The Camden council is trying to find hotels for residents of the approximately 800 apartments being evacuated. A rest center has been set up at an area library, the Guardian reports.

Residents are scared and angry about the sudden evacuation. “I don’t know where we are going to go," one resident says. "One man in a suit said to me, ‘You can’t stay here tonight.’" Renovations to the buildings are expected to take up to a month. "I know it's going to be difficult, but Grenfell changes everything," the Times quotes Gould as saying. She adds: "All we care about is getting people to safety." (More Grenfell stories.)

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