Samuel Garside House Fire Inquiry

Residents Inquiry

The Samuel Garside House fire took place on the 9 June 2019.

It spread rapidly and completely destroyed eight flats and damaged many more. Some saw the destruction of all their belongings, including irreplaceable family possessions.

More than 30 families of the 79 dwellings were displaced for many months.

More than eight families are still displaced and will not return until more than one year after the fire took place.

Our resident-led Inquiry into the fire

It is not possible to describe the distress that was engendered by the fire, the dislocation and the trauma.

We promise, as a residents association, that we will not forget.

This is our Inquiry into the fire.

Our conclusions and our demands

Our 8,400 word report draws many conclusions in relation to the fire.

We looked at the way the estate is managed. We looked at the very concepts behind having an entire private estate, dominated by private, faceless tax-haven dwelling landlords like Adriatic Land. And we looked at the way the estate as a whole is privately owned by Barking Riverside Limited – that is, by London and Quadrant and the Greater London Assembly.

At out interim Inquiry meeting, Dr Jonathan Evans exposed the failings of the government, as we report.

In brief, we conclude first that the fire spread rapidly up and across wooden balconies. The building has been declared to have been unsafe. But secondly, we conclude this was known in advance, as a result of the fire risk assessment of January 2019, and nothing was done to prevent the fire from taking place.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, a meeting of 200 angry residents called by the Barking Reach Residents Association, discussed,  amended and then unanimously agreed the following:

 “We believe:

“That Bellway and the others involved in the construction and management of the estate were negligent because they failed to address their minds to the obvious risk from the wooden constructed balconies and cladding despite previous concerns raised by residents.”

We make three demands of the parties involved in Barking Riverside Limited, that is, London and Quadrant and the greater London Assembly, and of the local council:-

  1. Ensure that all flammable material is removed from all parts of the estate in consultation with residents, at the cost of the developer, landlord or government.
  2. Do not remove, but instead guarantee resident control over the estate
  3. Remove Adriatic Land from the estate

Executive summary

Our findings on the fire at Samuel Garside House, Barking Riverside estate

The Samuel Garside House fire took place on the 9 June 2019. It spread rapidly and completely destroyed eight flats and damaged many more. Some saw the destruction of all their belongings, including irreplaceable family possessions.

The Samuel Garside House Fire – Photo by Mihaela Gheorghe

More than 30 families of the 79 dwellings were displaced for many months. More than eight families are still displaced and will not return until more than one year after the fire took place. It is not possible to describe the distress that was engendered by the fire, the dislocation and the trauma.

We promise, as a residents association, that we will not forget.

Continue reading “Executive summary”

About

The Barking Reach Residents Association usually meets every month at the Rivergate Centre (in the church hall) either the third or fourth Wednesday of the month. We encourage you to go along and raise your concerns about the Riverside area and join in the discussion.

The residents’ association Facebook page can help communicate any relevant and important information to the residents. Our website can be found here:  brra.org.uk