Basildon Brooke House tenants demand action after fire

Echo: Natasha Griggs and Lesley Bailey, both of Brooke House Natasha Griggs and Lesley Bailey, both of Brooke House

TERRIFIED tenants have labelled Brooke House a “disaster waiting to happen” after fire crews were called to the Basildon tower block.

A total of 24 firefighters were needed at the Grade II listed town centre building after a resident apparently threw a lit cigarette down a bin chute and sparked a blaze, at about 11pm on Wednesday.

Residents said the block filled with plumes of toxic smoke, while the building’s fire alarm system failed to go off.

They claim it was the block’s security staff – employed after pressure from residents – who had to call the fire service. The fire was out by 11.30pm.

Natasha Griggs, 34, who has a five-year-old son, on the tenth floor, said: “This block is just a disaster waiting to happen.

“Residents were choking on the smoke and it’s not easy to escape from a building like this.

“My son has gone to school terrified today, because he feared he was going to die.

“It’s bad enough having to witness the violence and parties, let alone living in fear that someone is going to start a fire, too. I really don’t know what to do anymore.”

Residents claim the fire was started deliberately, but Essex Fire Service was unable to confirm the cause of the blaze.

Four engines were dispatched as a precaution, because it is a high rise building.

Families believe the incident again shows the block is unsuitable for children.

A group of councillors and officers who reviewed the tower concluded it was unsuitable for children.

But they have warned them moving families out will not happen overnight due to the length of the council’s housing list, but parents claim this shows moving them out should be a priority.

Lesley Bailey, 47, who has an eight-year-old child, said: “I live on the 11th floor and the smoke was phenomenal – it was choking, toxic, smoke.

“Wednesday night was a reminder there are idiots living in here putting other residents’ lives at risk.

Comments (9)

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6:59am Mon 17 Feb 14

GTA Essex says...

Maybe if it did burn down it would of been a good thing. Then they could of got a new place as they would of had no choice too!
Maybe if it did burn down it would of been a good thing. Then they could of got a new place as they would of had no choice too! GTA Essex

8:59am Mon 17 Feb 14

Ladydolphin.mh says...

BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE.

GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE.

THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU!
BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE. GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE. THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU! Ladydolphin.mh

9:35am Mon 17 Feb 14

GTA Essex says...

Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE.

GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE.

THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU!
Or how about these benefit Scroungers get a job, and move somewhere better?
[quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE. GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE. THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU![/p][/quote]Or how about these benefit Scroungers get a job, and move somewhere better? GTA Essex

11:30am Mon 17 Feb 14

Happy Chickie says...

Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE.

GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE.

THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU!
Caps lock key is third up on the left.
[quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE. GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE. THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU![/p][/quote]Caps lock key is third up on the left. Happy Chickie

11:51am Mon 17 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

I can remember when Brooke House was still a highly des res for professionals rather than the dumping grounx it now seems to havd become.

My sympathies go out to the decent folk that live there.

Basildon Council need to sort this out.


It's their housing policy tharg has caused this. It's like reading a chapter of J G Ballard's 'High Rise' every time there's a story in the Echo about this building.

Offer decent alternative accomodation to the non troublemaking decent residents and turf the asbo style druggie residents out.

Adapt Brooke House into the hotel accomodation that is planned for I the billion quid regeneration of tbe Town Centre and be done with it.
I can remember when Brooke House was still a highly des res for professionals rather than the dumping grounx it now seems to havd become. My sympathies go out to the decent folk that live there. Basildon Council need to sort this out. It's their housing policy tharg has caused this. It's like reading a chapter of J G Ballard's 'High Rise' every time there's a story in the Echo about this building. Offer decent alternative accomodation to the non troublemaking decent residents and turf the asbo style druggie residents out. Adapt Brooke House into the hotel accomodation that is planned for I the billion quid regeneration of tbe Town Centre and be done with it. Howard Cháse

2:16pm Mon 17 Feb 14

blackheart says...

Happy Chickie wrote:
Ladydolphin.mh wrote:
BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE.

GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE.

THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU!
Caps lock key is third up on the left.
Also, spell check is normally F7
[quote][p][bold]Happy Chickie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ladydolphin.mh[/bold] wrote: BROOKE HOUSE HAS ALWAYS HAD A REPUTATATION & NOBODY THAT I KNOW WANTS TO BE PLACED THERE. GIVE THESE RESIDENTS A BREAK BASILDON COUNCIL AND GET THE SECURITY AND FIRE PROCEDURES A OVERHAUL OR YOU LIVE THERE FOR A MONTH AND REALLY SEE WHAT GOES ON AND THE CONSTANT STRUGGLES THEY FACE. THAT'S A CHALLANGE TO YOU![/p][/quote]Caps lock key is third up on the left.[/p][/quote]Also, spell check is normally F7 blackheart

3:19pm Mon 17 Feb 14

J Arthur Rank says...

"A total of 24 firefighters were needed at the Grade II listed town centre building "

I doubt very much that 24 firefighters were required. One tender would have been more than sufficient I imagine. The response provided would have been the level that is laid down as a minimum response given the size and nature of the building.
"A total of 24 firefighters were needed at the Grade II listed town centre building " I doubt very much that 24 firefighters were required. One tender would have been more than sufficient I imagine. The response provided would have been the level that is laid down as a minimum response given the size and nature of the building. J Arthur Rank

9:11pm Mon 17 Feb 14

bazza 1 says...

That block should not be a listed building. It's a bloody eye sore and should be knocked down.
That block should not be a listed building. It's a bloody eye sore and should be knocked down. bazza 1

10:33am Tue 18 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

bazza 1 wrote:
That block should not be a listed building. It's a bloody eye sore and should be knocked down.
If we're talking eyesores in the Town centre Westgate shopping complex and the Basildon Centre are both horrible to look at. No architectural merit whatsoever. As well as the now vacant Trafford House. Flatten those before Brooke House....
[quote][p][bold]bazza 1[/bold] wrote: That block should not be a listed building. It's a bloody eye sore and should be knocked down.[/p][/quote]If we're talking eyesores in the Town centre Westgate shopping complex and the Basildon Centre are both horrible to look at. No architectural merit whatsoever. As well as the now vacant Trafford House. Flatten those before Brooke House.... Howard Cháse

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