Dozens of residents leave Terminus House after fire underneath building

News / Sat 3rd Jun 2023 at 07:12pm

Statement from Essex Fire Service

Crews were called to a block of flats in Harlow last night after reports of a fire in a communal area. 

On arrival firefighters reported there was a large fire in a bin storage area which was directly under the block of flats. 

Incident Commander Toby Ingham said:

“The smoke from the fire had travelled upwards via the bin chutes into the landing areas of all floors. 

“Our crews, along with brilliant support from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s crews, worked hard to swiftly extinguish the fire by 7.45pm. Firefighters then fully checked the whole building for any fire spread. Thankfully there was no fire spread and we took time to reassure distressed occupants. 

“We then ventilated the building, reset fire safety systems and allowed occupants to return to their homes.”

Officers will now carry out an investigation into the cause of the fire. 

A LARGE number of residents were decanted from Terminus House in Harlow Town Centre after a fire.

Emergency services attended at the block of flats at just after 6pm on Saturday evening.

YH understands that the seat of the fire was the bins which sit directly underneath the large development.

The smoke could be seen from some distance away.

A larger number of residents stood outside the flats whilst fire officers attended to the seat of the blaze.

YH has contacted the relevant emergency service media offices for more details.

More follows.

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22 Comments for Dozens of residents leave Terminus House after fire underneath building:

2023-06-03 20:03:11

Look out the window smoke, hear people screaming leave now, welcomed to a bloke painting walls asking if someone burnt there food🤣 went down the fire exit stairs, filled with smoke, pointless of having only 1 exit

2023-06-03 20:32:12

Came out of an exit to be greeted by railings so had no choice but to walk down the stairs through the smoke. Never been so scared.

2023-06-03 21:57:08

Came out my flat door to a hallway full of smoke with my two children the fire exit close to my door was full of smoke had to run down a black smoky hallway with my children just to get out the building through another fire exit then out the building through a carpark and more stairs absolutely disgusting how careless the owners of this building are expecting people to stay indoors instead of trying to get our children out to safety !

2023-06-03 21:58:06

Came out my flat door to a hallway full of smoke with my two children the fire exit close to my door was black and smoky had to run down a black smoky hallway with my children just to get out the building through another fire exit then out the building through a carpark and more stairs absolutely disgusting how careless the owners of this building are expecting people to stay indoors instead of trying to get our children out to safety !

Tanya roythorne
2023-06-04 02:14:56

Absolutely disgusting thick black smoke couldn't see anything or breath people screaming and crying when I finally made to the car park we was trapped by the metal railings it was absolutely terrifying and not one fire man walked into the building to help or assure people disgusting

Nick Gunning
2023-06-04 07:31:43

A couple of comments raise an horrific reminder- mainly the 'only one staircase' comment. The building is also externally clad- what is the nature of this cladding? The Grenfell enquiry is too close for people not to be alarmed- those residents need reassurance quickly.

Not impressed
2023-06-04 07:37:41

You can't blame the fire brigade, it's not their fault there was no direct way out. Not their fault there were metal railings to stop you leaving. Not their fault the side windows were locked so you had no choice but to walk through thick black smoke with children. If it wasn't for other residents alot of people would have been trapped. People helping to lift children over the railings, knocking on doors because no alarms were going off in the corridors so people were unaware of the fire or smoke. And where were management or security, oh sorry security turned up at the last minute!! If anyone is to blame it certainly isn't the fire brigade or the residents.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-04 09:01:07

This place was not built for accommodation.

2023-06-04 09:10:59

Whats the piint of having fire doors on each of the residents' places, theres gaps underneath them, smoke started to fill the room so i had no choice to leave. Nice stay put policy. Also all the fire exits lead down to where the fire was yesterday.

2023-06-04 09:38:10

Why has Harlow got to rely on Herts for turntables??? About time ours was returned...

2023-06-04 10:56:44

How terrifying for the residents of this building,having to get yourself out is bad enough but some of these people have young children aswell.The comments about the only one staircase,but i am sure all the high rise blocks in harlow only have one staircase.As far as i am concerned i think all high rise buildings are dangerous.

2023-06-04 11:01:06

I personally think this building should not be used to house people it's so dangerous they are not fit to live in especially with children. It's a disaster waiting to happen why don't the council do something useful for a change an actually house people who are actually in need .It's disgusting that they make people live in this terrible place. Hopefully all the residents are safe

2023-06-04 15:02:22

Typical bloody Harlow. Justify yourself, provide safe homes for the residents of this place.

Neil McEleny
2023-06-04 15:44:48

For all those calling for the Council to house to house these people, great idea. Has Harlow Council has not placed them there, which Council are they asking? The one that placed them there or the one struggling to house Harlow residents? How about we stop blaming the wrong people and start shutting down any landlord who doesn't use social housing standards to protect their tenants ! Let's start prosecuting bad landlords and promoting the good ones that's where Harlow fails.

2023-06-04 17:37:36

The comments on here saying the building should not be used to house people are only partly correct. The building should not be used for anything, I think some years ago there were a lot of offices there where obviously people worked. The whole block needs demolishing as it is obviously a disaster waiting to happen, as well as it being a complete eyesore.

2023-06-04 17:48:55

Neil, the buck stops at useless government regulation. Grenfell saw how everyone, Councils , Companies and government ducks the responsibility. Every building regardless should meet high standards and be inspected by the fire service, any falling below standard and not immediately rectified the work done and owners billed. It seems especially true that government isn't prepared to tackle large business landlords especially wrt to high rise flats yet ask for more Council houses it's impossible and park your car for 5 minutes over a paid for period, erect a garden fence over 2m, drop a kerb or drive into a congestion zone and their on you like a ton of bricks. Profits matter more than lives.

2023-06-05 07:47:52

I hope everyone is ok after such a nasty shock they must get fire exits sorted out in there this could have been disasterous for tenants. Hope the organisation who runs the building reviews the fire safety procedures.

2023-06-05 10:21:50

Firstly, I hope no one was injured in this event. The prior comments do raise two very important points. Why is it planning is granted for residential use in buildings such as Terminus House, without proper alterations and accommodations being made? Additionally, why is it Harlow seems to be used as a 'dumping' ground for other local authority residents when we are unable to meet our own needs?

Tulip Tattysyrup
2023-06-05 10:43:13

The residents who live in terminus house are they harlow residents or harlow and outsiders please? Why are they living in there anyway,were they homeless?

2023-06-05 13:15:57

Very dangerous place to live for many reasons & this being one of them , the stay put policy is totally useless when smoke enters the corridors & flats. Thankfully the fire wasn’t given time to spread as the emergency services were on the scene very quickly, could of been much worse if it had spread across to the plastic bins that sit next to the metal ones, the space is also used as a dumping ground for old furniture,which is also sitting directly next to the basement exit door. The place is an accident waiting to happen, the local council need to get involved, take responsibility for the town’s people.

David morton
2023-06-05 18:06:02

The ariel ladder platform has to come from Chelmsford now due to relocation, its got to be a good 30minutes for a machine to get here, every main town should have one, emergency services should be the very last thing to be the victim of cutbacks, disgusting, and what's more disgusting is all the pricks out there who point the finger at the men and woman of the fb who so easily point the finger when things don't go to plan, in the UK they have the best training thats available and do the very best with the equipment that's available!!!!

2023-06-06 01:16:32

This is not a bad place to live !! Don’t label everyone who has been through a tough time as bad people ! You don’t know their situation - and don’t automatically label Caridion as a bad company ! On all of our doors is the fire guide - stay put until told otherwise !! I share with what David has said here , the fire brigade have been hit with cut backs and he rightly points out the nearest turntable ladder is at Chelmsford which is ridiculous!! I was at work during the fire but this building was signed off by fire regulators- you can’t propose what potentially what some lunatic wants to do in an area open to everyone …. It’s a risk no one can mitigate

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