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Inspectors find fire hazards at revamped city tower block

PUBLISHED: 06:20 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:11 13 March 2020

Grovesnor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, was evacuated in July 2019 because of a fire. Inspectors have now found a series of fire hazards. Picture: JESSICA FRANK-KEYES

Grovesnor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, was evacuated in July 2019 because of a fire. Inspectors have now found a series of fire hazards. Picture: JESSICA FRANK-KEYES

JESSICA FRANK-KEYES

Inspectors have found a litany of fire hazards in a Norwich block of flats where a blaze broke out last year.

Grosvenor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, where inspectors found fire hazards. Photo: ArchantGrosvenor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, where inspectors found fire hazards. Photo: Archant

Grosvenor House, on Prince of Wales Road, was refurbished in 2017 by MCR Property Group.

The firm turned the office into 80 flats.

But in February, inspectors form Norwich City Council found a series of fire safety breaches. They visited after a complaint from a resident.

The management company said it was addressing the problems.

Inspectors discovered the fire detector in the basement was covered, meaning it was unlikely to go off.

Fire doors in the basement were not fitted with smoke seals, potentially allowing a fire to spread.

The fire extinguishers were also beyond their service date.

Several other fire doors were defective, inspectors said, as they did not close within their frame which put tenants at risk.

Grosvenor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, where inspectors found fire hazards. Photo: ArchantGrosvenor House on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, where inspectors found fire hazards. Photo: Archant

Vents in the main staircase were also damaged.

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There was also 'inadequate provision' for rubbish with large amounts of waste stored outside, they said.

Inspectors rated the hazards as the fifth most hazardous on a scale out of 10.

The fire service was called to the flats last summer. Picture: JESSICA FRANK-KEYESThe fire service was called to the flats last summer. Picture: JESSICA FRANK-KEYES

On the same date, inspectors also found risks of falling on the stairs as there were no guard rails on the upper flights.

There was also a gap on the lower flight of stairs in the rails which meant a child could fall through it, they said.

One resident said: 'The fire report is shocking.

'Residents have been trying to get these issues fixed for quite some time which considering the seriousness of some of the issues and the Grenfell disaster is absurd.'

There was a small fire in the block of flats last July which was started by cooking.

A spokesman for the management company, Regency Living, said: 'All issues raised are being worked through alongside the council to pre-agreed dates.'

They added: 'As an established, nationwide property management company, we have robust systems and procedures that are compliant and in line with all regulations in place across all of our residential developments.

'Our number one priority across all of our developments is our residents' and tenants' safety.'

A Norwich City Council spokesman said it would work with the company to make sure the work was done.

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