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Families still not allowed home following Mile Cross tower block blaze

PUBLISHED: 17:05 30 September 2011 | UPDATED: 17:09 30 September 2011

Emergency services, local residents and Markham Tower residents at the major flat fire at the Bowers Avenue Norwich complex.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Emergency services, local residents and Markham Tower residents at the major flat fire at the Bowers Avenue Norwich complex. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant © 2011 01603 772434

Families forced to move out of their homes due to a blaze in a Norwich tower block are likely to be living in temporary accommodation for at least another week.

About 80 firefighters were called to deal with the fire that started in an eighth floor flat at Markham Tower, Bowers Avenue, Mile Cross, on Monday. Nobody was injured in the fire but the incident left one flat badly damaged by fire, at least 10 flats with water damage, and all the tower’s electricity had to be turned off.

Firefighters are currently not treating the fire as suspicious.

Since the fire everybody living in the 44-flat tower block has been moved to either temporary accommodation or are staying with friends or family.

Today Norwich City Council said the electricity was back on across the whole building and there was one working lift. It said the council will be carrying out extensive safety tests on each flat in the coming week, and this means the families from Markham Tower will need to stay in alternative accommodation for another week, and for those whose flats suffered more substantial damage it may be a further week.

Security guards will remain on site until the building is occupied again.

Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “We would like to thank the tenants again for their patience during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them.

“Everyone is continuing to pull together in a remarkable way to make sure the people affected are supported.

“Council officers continue to work alongside other agencies to make sure the building is made safe.

“The focus of the work on site is now on carrying out thorough checks to each of the individual homes to make sure they are safe and ready for people to move back in as quickly as possible.”

• Do you have a story from the Mile Cross area? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk


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