Camden flats evacuated: Residents forced to leave tower blocks over cladding fire safety fears may not be able to return home for four weeks

Residents who have been forced to leave their flats in Camden over fire safety fears in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster may not be able to return home for up to four weeks.

A letter sent to residents on the Chalcot estate by the council warns them that they need to be moved from homes for “between three and four weeks”.

Up to 4,000 residents – including families with newborn babies and a Second World War veteran – were ordered out of their homes on Friday night after fire officers said they could not guarantee the safety of the buildings.

Four high rises on the estate are thought to be covered with a similar type of cladding as that used at Grenfell Tower, five miles to the south west, where at least 79 people died in the June 14 tragedy.

800 households to be evacuated from Camden high-rises to allow fire safety works

The letter said: “The Grenfell fire changes everything. We are taking this action because the safety of our residents comes first.

“We are sorry for the disruption this will cause to your lives, but we will work as quickly as possible over the coming weeks to get you back into your homes.”


Residents evacuated from Chalcots Estate tower blocks arrive at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre and Library in Camden (EPA)

The letter also advises that staying with friends and family “may be the best option”, and states that the council will provide temporary accommodation at no extra cost if residents are unable to do this.

A fifth tower block was evacuated but it was later deemed safe for residents to return.

Residents were sent to two relief centres in Swiss Cottage and the Camden Centre in King’s Cross which were said to be near capacity on Saturday morning.

Camden Council said it had also secured hundreds of hotel beds for evacuated residents.

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